The Oriental Market sits on 27th street, a ethnically diverse street in the heart of Lincoln, Nebraska, on September 3, 2019.

One of the perks of living in Lincoln is that access to cuisines from all over the world is right at your fingertips. You just need to know where to look — and if you’re looking for exotic, Asian ingredients in Nebraska, then you can look no further than this list of grocery stores and markets that bring affordable, oriental elements to Lincoln. 

Oriental Market, 612 N. 27th St.

The first of these retailers is the Oriental Market on 27th Street. This store sells everything from Korean snacks and spices, to drinks shipped in from Japan. However, this market is famous for its wide variety of non-country specific spices. Rows upon rows of powder, pastes and dried plants line the shelves. While overwhelming at first, this store is perfect for the exploratory chef or practiced asian cuisiner. 

This store brings thousands of traditional, oriental ingredients to Lincoln such as preserved tamarind pulp, which is a native fruit to Asia and North Africa that is used in everything from simple food flavoring to sweetening carbonated drinks. They also offer red curry paste (often used in Thai food) and many more snacks and beverages native to different cultures of Asia. 

Little Saigon Asian Grocery Store, 940 N. 26th St. #207

The next grocery store is Little Saigon, just off 26th St. This store is well-known for it’s plant and animal products. Toward the front of the store are several large freezers which hold everything from whole, uncleaned fish to large, clunky beef bones. As you advance to the back of the store, through the shelves of noodles, pottery and other odds and ends, a large produce selection can be found.

This market also holds a wide variety of whole-spice roots (such as turmeric), bundles of several essential Asian herbs (including perilla, chives and chillies), piles of green cabbage and much more. Unlike the previous market, this grocery store focuses on fresh and frozen meat, herbs and other raw plant and animal products. 

Nguyen Market, 648 N. 27th St.

The final market is relatively close to the others on 27th Street. Where this market shines is in its grain selection. Walking into the store, one is immediately introduced to the tall, maze-like stacks of dry ingredients. There are thousands of different grains to choose from here.

The wide selection of rice includes everything from jasmine to sushi rice, all of which is moderately priced and sold in large bags. As for the noodles, the same can be said in variety and size. This includes rice noodles of different thicknesses, such as vermicelli, udon and more. 

All in all, if you’re looking for authentic Asian ingredients but can’t afford the plane ticket to Asia, there are several places in Lincoln to find the food you’re looking for. While every store has a variation of items, they all have something worth strolling down the aisles for.