During our exchange in Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland, cooking has been an essential part of our daily lives! My roommate and I were cooking religiously almost every day (we ourselves were shocked at how dedicated we were)

A few reasons we cooked so often:

  1. Eating out in Helsinki is expensive (each meal is frequently above 15€, even fast food is barely below 10€)
  2. We needed asian food!!

Yes, I would say our need for asian food was the biggest driving factor.

And here I’ll bring you through some of the meals we made (prior to exchange I only cooked instant noodles) and guide you through buying groceries in Helsinki!

Udon with tempura and gyoza
Kimchi Stew – one of our favourites!


Knife-cut noodle soup

Curry Udon

Where to buy groceries?

For local food and basic condiments:

1. K-Market

There are many K-Market stores in Helsinki, so it is usually the most convenient.

What you can find:

eggs, fruits, vegetables, meat, processed meat, pasta, juices, milk, bread etc.

2. Alepa

Alepa is generally cheaper, however they also do have a limited selection. You will be able to find most items that you normally find in K-Market.

[P.S. Ice cream is cheaper here compared to K-Market]


For Asian food:

1. Jiahe Asian Market

What you can find here:

  • asian vegetables: bok choy, oyster mushrooms, etc. (There is chinese cabbage in K-Market, but it is much cheaper at Jiahe)
  • tofu: silken & firm
  • rice cakes: tube & sliced
  • frozen products: gyoza, shrimps, meat
  • asian desserts: tangyuan, mochi, etc.
  • sauces – soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoishin sauce, japanese sauces, gochujang, etc.
  • hotpot soup base – haidilao, xiao fei yang
  • snacks
  • tapioca pearls
  • and more

2. JK Shop

JK Shop is run by Jiahe, located just a few units away from Jiahe. Here they focus more on Japanese and Korean items. I would recommend heading to Jiahe first, and then stop by JK for any items that you did not manage to get at Jiahe.

3. Kiina Supermarket

There is one outlet in Kamppi and another in Espoo. The location makes grocery runs more convenient, however their items are slightly pricier. The selection is also slightly smaller. Nevertheless, it is a good place to shop for asian groceries.

Extra Tip #1: You can place online orders for Jiahe and Kiina through their websites! Free delivery over a certain amount spent.

Extra Tip #2: Bring your own grocery bags for grocery runs, there is a charge for plastic bags. You can purchase one at Kiina Supermarket (big and super useful!), or the ikea bag is also a good option.

Happy cooking!

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