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[MSP] Kim's Oriental Foods and Gifts

In search of "chili threads" (see Alice's post from earlier today) I stopped by this unassuming little Korean market on Snelling this afternoon. It doesn't look like much on the outside, but, on the inside, woo what a treasure trove! They had several refrigerated cases stocked with all kinds of goodies, tofus, vegetables, spices, and red bean cakes; and several freezer cases packed with many varieties of fish, frozen dumplings, sweets and noodles; and then a few aisles piled high with dried goods, including teas, noodles, rice, oils, and more sweets.

I bought a red bean cake from the refrigerated case, some frozen dumplings, green tea ice cream, and a package of what I think might be "chili threads" (the package reads "yeongyang red pepper sliced) and the ingredients list is "hot pepper".

Anyway, if you're looking for a wonderful little Asian market in St. Paul, this place is terrific. The woman at the counter (Mrs. Kim, perhaps? I'm afraid I didn't ask) tells me they've been in business at this location for 30 years.

Kim's Oriental Foods and Gifts
689 Snelling Ave N
St Paul, MN 55104
(651) 646-0428


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  1. One of my (half Korean) co-workers swears by the Kim Chi they have in the refrigerator case - the stuff is shipped in from Chicago.

    1. I took an ethnic foods tour with Carl Anschultz (sp?) through the Kitchen Window cooking 'school', and this was one of the stops. Unassuming is the right word, but fun at the same time. I should go back! Thanks for the reminder.

      1. This place is so close to my house it is sort of embarassing that I have not been there. I will make it my mission to get there in the next few days, chowbaby and Paz in tow. I wonder how chowbaby will like kimchi. . .

        1. Actually, the woman in line in front of me at Kim's had two chow-pups along and was buying red bean cakes. The woman at the register asked, "You like these?" and the customer pointed at her young son, "He does." I think if you start the pups young, they are likely to be more adventurous eaters.

          I'll have to try the kim chee.

          A friend of mine who lived in Korea for about a year swears by Kim's. (This I learn AFTER discovering it on "my own.")


          1. I live in nyc, but I grew up in MN. So I check this board a lot. My family is Japanese, and we've been going to Kim's for ages. It's smaller and more user-friendly than United Noodles.

            2 Replies
            1. re: baconstrip

              Do you know if they carry green tea powder? The kind they use to make green tea ice cream? (I forgot to look or ask.)


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                I'm quite sure they do. Look through the tea section by the snacks. There are sweetened and unsweetened kinds. I think for making green tea ice cream you'd want the unsweetened.

            2. I went to Kim's today and got my chili threads, they are in the refrigerator case by the front. Now I just need to come up with some recipes.
              The place is really great. I also got some tofu kimchi which was great. They did seem to have the green tea powder TDQ. I plan to go there often! Thanks for the tip.

              1 Reply
              1. re: AliceS

                Will have to try the tofu kimchi! Thanks for the recommendation!


              2. Do you think this place has better prices than United Noodle?


                3 Replies
                1. re: Reddyrat

                  price-wise, they are about the same. kim's might be even a little bit pricier. i always felt that united noodle was always such a zoo that i wanted to avoid it at all cost.

                  1. re: baconstrip

                    I went to United Noodle around 9:30 last Sunday morning (killing time before the Triple Rock opened for breakfast at 10) and it was deserted. All the produce was undisturbed and it was blissful. They're open from 9-6 on Sunday.

                    1. re: mcgeary

                      The nice thing about Kim's is that it's a convenient option for St. Paulites. There's a small United Noodle shop in the Midtown Global Market, too.


                2. Kim's sounds great. I've never been going by there when I had time, but it sounds worth the investigation. I like UN if I need something very specific or (previously) if I needed to get someone to the herbalist. Often I'll go to Dragon Star up on Dale, especially in mango season as they often have a box of mangoes for $5.