Bangkok Center Grocery

If you're looking for Thai ingredients, then head deeper south, past the crush of Canal Street, to the otherwise nondescript Mosco Street, where you'll find the Bangkok Center Grocery.

The Bangkok Center Grocery is one of the few groceries in New York City dedicated solely to Thai cuisine. 

Yoottapong is the Bangkok Center Grocery owner.

Bangkok Center Grocery has everything you need for Thai home cooking. 

There are several kinds of noodles (including three thicknesses of dried noodles, and the original Thai "Double Dragon" glass sheet noodles), turmeric and roasted rice powders, whole annatto seed, several brands of shrimp paste as well dried shrimp and dried squid, preserved bean curd and preserved cabbage, jars of young green peppers, and tamarind (both in fresh paste and concentrate form).

But more impressive than the things in tins and boxes are the ingredients that oneusually finds in tins and boxes elsewhere but are, at Yoottapong's, fresh. Alongside the Thai basil there's another hard-to-find basil, Holy basil, as well as kaffir lime leaves for making homemade curry, bunches of feathery green Cha-om (an herby vegetable that Yoottapong suggested cooking into what would amount to an egg and Cha-om frittata), stalks of lemongrass, fresh turmeric, galangal root, bird's eye chilies, small Thai eggplants, and fresh bamboo shoots by the bagful.

Palm Sugar
Palm sugar is one of five pantry staples Yoottapong insists one should have on hand at all times in order to make great Thai food.

Bangkok Center Grocery carries several forms of tamarind, including fresh paste (with seeds—be prepared to deal with stickiness!), liquid tamarind concentrate, and (not pictured) pickled tamarind leaves.

Bamboo shoots are sold jarred with Bai Yanang and Chili. They're also sliced and packaged by the bagful in the fridge.

Thai basil, a hard-to-find cousin of the widely available sweet or Italian basil, is a key flavor in many Thai dishes. Yoottapong also carries the fragrant and much loved Holy basil.

Curry By The Canful
Although the best curry is, according to Yoottapong, the kind you'll find fresh in his refrigerated section, Bangkok Center Grocery also carries every kind of canned and boxed curry imaginable, including the celebrated Maesri and Mae Ploy brands.

Special Treats
The small store is closely packed with ingredients, and it's easy to miss small treats among the more obvious offerings. If you spend some time eying the shelves, you'll come across things like quail eggs and coconut meat in syrup.

For dessert, in the fridge you'll find a selection of carefully packaged Thai desserts, including tongyod, made from egg yolks and sugar, a cassava dessert, and lodchong, a coconut cream

Yoottapong also carries a few non edible Thai products, such as these tiny plastic tubs of lime paste (mysteriously labeled "for ceremony use only.")

Reading Material
For a bit of light reading with your homemade Pad Thai, at Bangkok Center Grocery you'll find a selection of Thai-language magazines and newspapers.

As you check out be sure to grab a box of spicy tamarind candies, or these sweet star gooseberry jellies, both classic Thai sweets.

For more information --> here.

Bangkok Center Grocery
104 Mosco Street, New York, NY 10013 (map)
(212) 349-1979

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