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Pamela MacNaughtan

Asia is one of my favourite continents. I love the beauty and the mystery, the food and the culture. The, sometimes, drastic difference between life in Asia and life in North America is highly appealing to me.

Over the years, I have travelled through China, Mongolia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Myanmar. I’ve sat on countless child-size plastic stools enjoying locals food packed with flavour and wandered down the aisles of fresh and wet markets. 

Asian food is, in some respects, simple, but at the same time, many of the dishes feature a complexity of flavours as well. 

From the cooking process to the food preparation, careful attention is made when preparing food in Asia. It is slow and methodical. And for those reasons, and a few more, Asian food is absolutely delicious.

Cooking Asian Food at Home

Thai coconut quinoa... not exactly Asian, but there are several Asian flavours. One of my favourite dishes in winter. So yummy.
Thai coconut quinoa… not exactly Asian, but there are several Asian flavours. One of my favourite dishes in winter. So yummy.

Cooking Asian food at home is never the same as eating it in Asian, and it never will be, but it can come close!

I love making chicken or pumpkin curries – sometimes using curry paste that my friend Dwight sends to me from Bangkok –, pork dumplings, mango salad and ramen-like soups (There are others, but it is early morning and I don’t want to spend my day battling cravings!).

The trick, however, is finding all of the ingredients I need. 

Finding an Asian Grocery Store in Quebec City

When I’m in Ontario, I can drive down to Chinatown in Toronto and find everything I need, but finding ingredients for Asian food when I’m home in Quebec City can be a challenge.

While you can find some Asian ingredients at small epiceries and grocery stores in Quebec City, there are also two Asian epiceries (food shops) in the Saint-Sauveur neighbourhood that carries ingredients for a variety of Asian foods. Yay! 

Below are my two favourite Asian grocery stores in Quebec City.

Epicerie Lao-Indochine

Epicerie Lao-Indochine is known for its restaurant, which can be quite busy during lunch. On the menu, you’ll find Thai and Japanese soups, as well as an array of Asian dishes. While the restaurant is good, I come here for the Asian groceries.

The epicerie itself is small, but a good place to find ingredients that may be difficult to find elsewhere. They carry a selection of sauces and bottles of vinegar, rice, noodles and drinks from across Asia. At the back is a small produce section where you can find things like kaffir lime leaf (a must in my kitchen), galangal, turmeric root and more.  It’s almost like walking in a shop somewhere in Asia. Almost.

Find Epicerie Lao-Indochine:
Saint-Sauveur Neighbourhood • 538, Ave des Oblats

Epicerie Montage Doree

Epicerie Montage Doree is hands down, my favourite Asian grocery store in Quebec City. Larger than Epicerie Lao-Indochine, this lovely shop carries everything from noodles to spice, sauces, vinegars and fresh produce. If you’re celiac, there are some gluten free options available, including gluten-free soy sauce!

Every time I go I get sucked in by the spices and sauces and noodles. Everything I need for my favourite Thai dishes can be found here. Including shrimp paste sold by the tub – don’t panic, it’s a small tub! And lets not forget the seasoning for pho and bun rieu. Yummers.

While there is not a restaurant, Epicerie Montage Doree does have a counter which sells wontons, spring rolls, egg rolls and Bahn mì sandwiches. They are sold wrapped with the appropriate sauces. A popular spot with locals wanting a takeaway lunch or appetizers for a party. 

Find Epicerie Montage Doree:
Saint-Sauveur Neighbourhood • 652, rue Saint-Ignace

Of course, you can find some Asian ingredients in the grocery stores, but they tend to be a little more expensive. The food sold at an Asian grocery store in Quebec City is generally imported from the country of origin, so if you’re looking for authentic flavours that remind you of sweaty days in Bangkok or Saigon, visit the shops suggested above.

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