Columbia is blessed with at least three really nice Asian markets. Kea International (up on Vandiver) and Chong’s Oriental Market (downtown, at 6th and ) are excellent. Kea sells at the farmers market and has kaffir lime trees and lemongrass you can repot at home. Chong’s is centrally located, well-stocked and the staff are helpful. But Hong Kong Market, located out on I-70 Drive SE by Patricia’s, is in a league of its own. The variety of produce and frozen options surpasses Chong’s by an order of magnitude. I swear to God they had a tank full of live fish one day. It’s a culinary playground, and not just for those seeking out mung sprouts, pig stomach and green papaya (though they have those things). 1 lb. bags of shallots were going for $1.59 (evidence above). Getting ten green curries worth of lime leaf for $1.89 is criminal. A family dinner’s worth of (delicious) pork and teriyaki rice buns went for $4.19. That $5.97 for lemongrass? 12 big, healthy stalks. In the end, I nearly filled a cooler with delicious, hard-to-find ingredients for $36.51.
Whether you’ve been to Hong Kong Market or not, I guarantee you’ve driven by a thousand times.
What are you waiting for?