United Noodles & Unideli
If you follow my social media or watch my shows, you know I’m obsessed with Asian cuisines—Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean… I love it all. And while there are plenty of great spots in the Twin Cities to indulge, I’m cooking it at home more often than not. Mastering the essentials of Asian culinary canons starts with the right equipment and ingredients—meaning you’ll have to venture to an Asian market and stock the pantry. For me, that place is United Noodles, a family owned and operated marketplace that’s been around for more than 40 years. With more than 8,000 products from 15 countries, the grocery store has everything—hard-to-find fruits, vegetables and herbs, fresh noodles, traditional tsukemono pickles, kimchi, dozens of tofu varieties, miso, and aisles upon aisles of all the vinegars, oils, chile pastes, seasonings and spices you’ll ever need. It’s organized and easy to navigate, so whether you’re a pro or a novice, you won’t feel intimidated. Most importantly, there’s Unideli, a small café in the middle of the store that serves some of the best ramen in the city. I know people say “don’t go to the grocery store hungry”—this is the exception to the rule. Order their signature Dramen, an incredible hybrid pork and chicken broth with black garlic oil, bamboo shoots, Chinese greens, pork belly and a soy egg. Or if you’re looking for heat, try a steaming bowl of Tantanmen—ground pork, bok choy, enoki mushrooms, Sichuan peppercorns and a slow-poached egg all swimming in a spicy sesame broth.
2015 East 24th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Photograph from United Noodles on Facebook.