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Jul 10, 2012 09:04 AM

Hmong Market: current favorites?

NYC Hound headed to Minneapolis and very interested to hear what people are currently recommending at Hmong Market. Who has the best papaya salad? Fried chicken? Pork belly? Etc. Thanks in advance.

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  1. There are two -- the one on the East Side of St. Paul and the one off of Como, just north of the Capitol.

    My most recent experience (July 4) was at the East Side ("Hmong Village") location. What I do - and I recommend - is to walk end-to-end and just see what looks best. For the meats (pork belly, sausage, stuffed chicken), I find that the stall that has the best looking stuff changes from visit-to-visit. Frankly, I can't remember the name of the place I got my pork belly from last week but it was outstanding.

    For papaya salad, Fue's (last stall on the right as you face them) is known to have outstanding papaya salad. I'm not an expert but two people whose opinions I trust both have given me the thumbs up on it. I watched them make a friend's batch and tasted a few bites and it all seemed great to me. Just not a dish I get a lot.

    At the Como location ("Hmongtown Marketplace"), I generally eat at Mr. Papaya's Kitchen. My go-to dishes there are the pho and pork belly.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MSPD

      At the Eastside market, I highly recommend the steamed catfish (wrapped in banana leaf) at the Santi stall. The catfish is all meat (no bones) and is filled with herbs and is almost gelatinous in texture. The pepper sauce it comes with is amazing -- it's hard to describe but it's a thick paste (not a liquid/fish sauce) and tastes almost like chocolate. Santi is near one end of the row.

    2. Her's Kitchen at the como location has top notch pho.

      1. You might also like to try United Noodle in Minneapolis. It's a big Asian grocery store with a small cafeteria that has amazing food. Love the ramen.

        1. Two years too late but we ate lunch at Hmongtown Marketplace (Como/Marion) in St. Paul this weekend and it was as good as ever:

          Haven't made it out to Hmong Village yet--the additional drive is a bit of a deterrent (as we're 50 minutes away from Hmongtown Marketplace to begin with).

          2 Replies
          1. re: My_Annoying_Opinions

            Google says it's a 7 minute, 3.5 mile trip between the two. People often overestimate the distance of The East Side. It's closer than you think. Also, Ward 6, Tongue in Cheek, Strip Club, and Cook St. Paul are over there. You could make a day of it, lunch at the Village, dinner at one of the other.

            1. re: american_idle

              Oh, I didn't realize it was that close. Full day outings with the kids are a tough proposition but it might be a 10-12 minute longer nap in the car for them on the way home. Oh, the punk rock life we lead!