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Kimchi Specialist?

Joe MacBu Oct 14, 2009 01:50 PM

I'm searching for superlative kimchi (any vegetable) to take as a gift to a friend in the boonies of New Hampshire. I've tried the stuff at most of the big Korean markets in Flushing. While they can be good, they haven't been great. My preference is for the powerful stuff, with the sauce a bit thicker than what I've found in these markets. For instance, the stuff they serve at Arirang on Northern is on the right track. But I'm not sure that they'd sell me a big bag of it.

Is there a kimchi specialist in Queens? I recall driving by a shop on Kissena and 59th Ave called Chun Ju Kimchi. Anyone been there?

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  1. b
    burton RE: Joe MacBu Oct 14, 2009 02:16 PM

    Not an Outer Boroughs response strictly speaking but the kimchi at Gam Mee Ok on W. 32nd St in Manhattan is the best I've had in the area and sounds like it would do the trick. That said, no idea if they'll sell it separately. Definitely worth inquiring if you're flexible as to location.

    3 Replies
    1. re: burton
      Miss Needle RE: burton Oct 14, 2009 02:57 PM

      Sadly, Gahm Mi Oak doesn't sell its kimchi.

      To the OP: The only restaurant that I know of that sells its kimchi is Kum Gang San. But I think their kimchi sucks. But it doesn't hurt to ask the other restaurants.

      1. re: Miss Needle
        diprey RE: Miss Needle Oct 14, 2009 04:19 PM

        Looking for same as the OP, and no luck so far. Unfortunately, I don't speak Korean at all and I don't have enough Korean friends to guide me. I agree with Miss Needle that KGS could use some improvement. Please shout out loud if you find something worthy.

        @burton: Is it worth showing up at Gahm Mi Ok with an empty jar and an open purse? I am not sure I quite understand what DOESN'T SELL means: am I off-base? (Mostly, I like kimchi on my breakfast rice porridge.)

        1. re: diprey
          bigjeff RE: diprey Oct 16, 2009 01:22 PM

          Janchi-Janchi is the name of the place that KGS sells out of; lotta goodies there.


          Janchi Janchi
          138-28 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354

    2. Polecat RE: Joe MacBu Oct 14, 2009 04:43 PM

      Tong Sam Gyup Gui, a sam gyup sul specialist in Murray Hill, also makes their own kimchi in house, and, in my opinion, it's excellent. They sell it by the bagfull. It's expensive, but delicious. We usually get our kimchi at the Union Street H-Mart, so we've never brought home the TSGG version. But I've been tempted.

      Tong Sam Gyup Gui
      162-23 Depot Rd, Queens, NY 11358

      1 Reply
      1. re: Polecat
        Joe MacBu RE: Polecat Oct 14, 2009 11:24 PM

        Ah yes. I've been there and remember seeing signs for the bags of kimchi. Around $20 right? Unfortunately, it was quite a while ago and I don't recall how it tasted. Sounds like a kimchi roundup is in order.....

      2. Joe MacBu RE: Joe MacBu Oct 15, 2009 11:14 PM

        Some progress:

        Searching for Chun Ju Kimchi (the name on the awning) online yields no results. However, the address shows up as Junju Kimch. Close enough. Chowhound posts from 2001 indicate that this was the former location of a well-regarded Korean restaurant, Bo.

        Walking into the shop, I was immediately confronted by a large walk-in fridge, a makeshift cubicle that the door of the walk-in impinges upon and momentary glimpses of a woman peeling daikon way in the back. Good signs.

        Yep, they had kimchi (w00t!).
        But it was difficult to discern whether most of it was made there, or whether they were a small distributor. I was handed a pamphlet with pictures of the various kimchi available: Cabbage, Indian mustard leaf, yolmu, chives, green onion, stuffed cucumber, radish, turnip, etc. They were already packaged, instead of being in barrels like I'd hoped. I picked a small tub of the mustard leaf ($15 for what amounted to about 4.5 lbs). It's pretty good, but mainly because of the flavor from the mustard. At least it's not a type that I usually spot at the markets.

        The tub says Chun Ju. The pamphlet says Goshen Kimchi/Food Town of Goshen Inc.(as did their truck in the back). It has some websites listed, but oddly, they don't seem to have anything to do with food: www.goshenkimchi.com and www.goshenfood.com (this one actually doesn't even seem to exist).

        Chun Ju Kimchi / Junju Kimch / Goshen Kimchi
        59-16 Kissena Blvd
        Flushing NY 11355
        Open until about 7pm. Closed Sundays.


        At Arirang, they were excited to sell me their kimchi. One container of cabbage and one of radish. $10 for what amounted to about 4 lbs.


        I wish that I'd come across this thread before heading out today:

        Apparently, there's a great panchan specialist on Leavitt north of Northern.

        137-38 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354

        Chun Ju Kimchi
        59-16 Kissena Blvd, Queens, NY 11355

        2 Replies
        1. re: Joe MacBu
          Miss Needle RE: Joe MacBu Oct 16, 2009 06:52 AM

          Thanks for your report. Did you notice if they carried bo sam kimchi -- it's a North Korean style where it's wrapped up and layered with different things like pine nuts and veggies.

          Personally, I find Arirang's kimchi too sweet. But the price seems pretty good!

          1. re: Miss Needle
            Joe MacBu RE: Miss Needle Oct 16, 2009 07:19 AM

            I had actually wanted to look for that but forgot. Give 'em a call: 718-661-3775

            Yes, Arirang's radish kimchi is a little sweet, but I like it. I find their cabbage version is be more on the salty side. It's homemade, so perhaps there are batch variations.

        2. g
          gfood RE: Joe MacBu Oct 16, 2009 11:58 AM

          Mama O's kim chi can be found in some specialty stores in Brooklyn. I have tried it, and I really liked it.

          I gave it to a friend of a Korean friend of mine to try, who may be a bit more discerning than me, and she loved it. They sell it at Stinky on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens.

          1. CitySpoonful RE: Joe MacBu Oct 25, 2011 08:26 AM

            A Korean friend mentioned that there is a kimchi store along Northern Blvd. (west of Main St. Flushing area) that sells really good kimchi. She couldn't remember the name or exactly where the store is located. Does anybody know anything about this? Any leads! Or do I need to trek along Northern Blvd. to find some decent kimchi?

            7 Replies
            1. re: CitySpoonful
              chasamark RE: CitySpoonful Oct 25, 2011 08:30 AM

              I have gotten some wonderful kimchi at Hanyang Mart. www.hanyangmart.com - 150-51 Northern Boulevard, Flushing - (718) 461-1911
              They make it in the store and sell a variety of types and combinations. All excellent IMHO.

              Hanyang Mart
              150-51 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354

              1. re: chasamark
                CitySpoonful RE: chasamark Oct 25, 2011 08:35 AM

                Yes, they do have a lot of options in that special kimchi section at H-Mart. But my Korean friend assured me that the selection/quality at the store she's thinking of is far better! Thus, my willingness to troll Northern Blvd., if need be. :)

                1. re: CitySpoonful
                  Joe MacBu RE: CitySpoonful Oct 26, 2011 02:23 AM

                  Han Yang carries the Goshen/Chun Ju brand kimchis, including my favorite made with mustard greens. It'll hold you over till you find your friend's place (and I can't wait for you you to report back on that).

                  Han Yang
                  150-51 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354

                  1. re: Joe MacBu
                    CitySpoonful RE: Joe MacBu Oct 26, 2011 12:40 PM

                    I am a big mustard green fan. I'll hope to get out to Flushing soon to investigate further. Perhaps this weekend...

                    1. re: CitySpoonful
                      Stuartmc910 RE: CitySpoonful Oct 26, 2011 01:13 PM

                      Does anyone know where I can get kimchi WITHOUT any shrimp or anchovy sauce/paste in it? In other words, vegetarian.

                      1. re: Stuartmc910
                        CitySpoonful RE: Stuartmc910 Nov 1, 2011 01:29 PM

                        I'm veg and I hear your pain, Stuartmc910! The ingredients are usually printed in English on the kimchi varieties at H-Mart on Northern Blvd. in Flushing. Usually the scallion and daikon varieties are made w/o shrimp or anchovy paste.

                        Woorijip (in Manhattan, I know) also labels their veggie kimchis and banchan with green stickers, so it's easy to tell which is which.

                        There's also a vendor at the Union Sq. Farmers Market who sells veggie kimchi.

                        Han Ah Reum
                        156-40 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354

                        1. re: Stuartmc910
                          treestonerivershrub RE: Stuartmc910 Jun 29, 2014 07:08 AM

                          sunrise mart's kimchi that they make in house does not have any fish or shellfish ingredients

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