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A Trip to the Chinatown Supermarket

I like sushi, and ramen, and colorful packaging, so I’m not sure why I hadn’t visited any of Oklahoma City’s several authentic Asian grocery stores before. Yesterday, in search of ingredients for Susan’s sushi night for her Girl Scouts, she and I did. It was awesome.

Much like the Thai place I visit in Kansas city named “Thai Place,” this supermarket in Chinatown (OKC’s Asian district) was named “Chinatown Supermarket.” I like businesses with names that get to the point, and this certainly does.

On the way in, an older Asian man stopped me in the parking lot. “Lovely weather today,” he said, waving at the sky. This wasn’t about the weather. The man was saying, “You are welcome here.”

I smiled back.

To the right of the entrance stood a freezer full of Mochi ice cream bars, Jackfruit treats, and lots of things with no English words on them. The bright colors on the packaging spoke the international language of “delicious,” but I wasn’t entirely sure what everything was. This feeling was repeated on every aisle of the supermarket.

It’s a good thing the Chinatown Supermarket leads with the fruit and popsicles because after that I found myself in the raw meat department, which leads to the recently killed fish department, and the large water tubs filled with swimming turtles. When you can stand in the middle of an aisle and touch a dead squid with one hand and a container of pork blood with the other, you can be damn sure you’re not in Homeland. Hopefully.

The most jarring thing was the smell which, with my perpetually stopped-up sinuses, wasn’t as strong for me as it was for Susan (and, one presumes, the fish).

Fortunately, the rest of the store was much happier.

Pocky! Pocky Pocky Pocky! These things are great! They’re little “biscuit sticks” covered in icing. These packs contained 9 smaller packs and cost $1.99 here. There’s a store not to far from me that sells each of those individual packages for $1.99 each. This was a great bargain!

Next up were all the beverages. There were tiny little cans of coffee. I bought a couple cans of Mr. Brown coffee. I won’t lie, I picked that brand because the name made me think of poop. I am truly a man-child.

There were lots and lots of bottles of colored drinks. Some had English written on them and some did not.

I’m still not sure what this one was. The picture did not sell me.

Around the corner, I suddenly found myself standing in noodle heaven. There were more brands and flavors of ramen noodles than I knew existed. I picked four at random. Spicy chicken! Seafood prawn! I will be eating good this week!

As Susan tried to locate the rest of her sushi ingredients, I snuck over to the hot sauce aisle and picked up a bottle of Extra Hot Chili Sauce. I put some on my dinner last night. There’s a reason the brand name is YEO!

The last thing I bought was this bag of Striking Popping Candy, which came with 20 individual packets of Pop Rock-like candy. Mostly I bought it for the packaging. Does that guy look like he’s enjoying his Striking Popping Candy or what?

The check out process was interesting. It mostly consisted of our cashier yelling at the other cashier while she talked on her phone. I don’t know what all the yelling was about, but there was a lot of it. Fortunately nobody yelled at us when we checked out, and the cashier instantly pegged us as “woman attempting to make sushi” and “man who likes children’s candy.” Good eye, those cashiers.

There were many other aisles I enjoyed, like the one with all those soup spoons I see at the buffet and another one full of statues that I recognized from every Chinese restaurant in town.

After we got home I doled out the candy and hung on to my pile of Thai Tea, Extra Hot Chili Sauce, and Mr. Brown’s coffee because… snicker… “Mr. Brown.”

I am already looking forward to checking out some of the other supermarkets in OKC’s Asian district and trying new things! Yeo!

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4 comments to A Trip to the Chinatown Supermarket

  • Mike Warma

    You left out an important fact.

    Did they have fidgit spinners?

  • Paul in AZ

    If they have it, try Soto Ayam soup mix (an Indonesian chicken soup that is SO tasty!). Love this account. Looking forward to more!

  • In barely-related news, k8track introduced me to Korean food yesterday. Really tasty… but the hole where my gall bladder used to be didn’t take kindly to the spiciness of it.

    Maybe I should’ve asked for Pocky instead.

  • I prefer Mr. Pink coffee over Mr. Brown myself. ;) The Asian market is always a treat, and I love that candy and ice cream too. My go to Asian goodies are spicy squid jerky and some of the myriad varieties of delicious rice crackers. So good.

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