If you thought some of my previous posts had an excessive number of photographs in them wait till you get a load of the slideshow in this one.
Back in December I’d posted a look at Saigon Market in Burnsville. On Facebook someone recommended that I also check out Rong Market in Richfield (in a strip mall on Nicollet, between 66th and 65th). I was chastened to discover that they’d apparently been located for a few years now in close proximity to the Costco we shop at in Burnsville, only having relocated to Richfield towards the end of last year. The employee I spoke to as I was paying for my purchases last Tuesday said that they moved because the Burnsville store was too small; he also noted that the new location puts them within easier driving radius of a larger segment of their core clientele. That core clientele is, of course, East Asian. Rong Market is primarily a Chinese store but those interested in Japanese, Korean and other East Asian ingredients will also find a lot there. And you will certainly find a lot more fish and seafood there than you will at any mainstream grocery. I do hope my excessive slideshow may encourage you to go take a look whether you are in their core clientele or not.
Rong Market might be a bit smaller, I think, than Saigon Market, but if so, not by much. The vegetable section is not massive but features a good selection of Asian greens and fruit (including on my visit guava and dragonfruit). Most of the store is taken up by comfortably spaced aisles featuring snacks, prepared foods and “dry” groceries. There is a large selection of noodles—dried, chilled or frozen—as well as ramen, with separate sections for Japanese and Korean ramen. And, yes, you can purchase here—if you’re so inclined—some of the more interesting flavours of chips that Lay’s sells in China but not the US.
There is also a large section of chilled and frozen meats as well as a seafood section that features—depending on the day—a lot of live shellfish, crabs, lobsters and more (think live bullfrog and softshell turtle) as well as chilled and frozen fish of many kinds. On my visit I purchased a few frozen pompano as well as some live blue crab (which I cooked up the same day). I was told they often have razor clams as well when in season and am hoping to pick some up next week.
In sum, I could not be more thrilled to have Rong Market in my life. I hope they will thrive in their new location. Between them and Saigon Market I now have very little reason to drive further to Minneapolis or to St. Paul for seafood; and with Hana Market and TBS Mart located in between them our Indian and Korean grocery shopping can also be completed in one fell swoop.
Here now is the promised excessive slideshow. Scroll down if you’d like to see what the next pandemic takeout report will be on. And, of course, hit the comments if there are other immigrant markets in the South Metro—or for that matter, anywhere else in the Twin Cities metro—that you think I should cover as well.
Next up on the food front: a pandemic takeout report from a Thai restaurant in St. Paul we’d never been to before and whose food we quite liked. Which one? You’ll have to wait till Tuesday to find out.
How was the crab? The frog picture was indeed , startling. Were the eels live also?
The crabs were very good. And yes, the eels were live.
Have you been to Shanghai Market on Como Ave in Saint Paul? or Chan Oriental Market in Bloomington? Those are two stores I recently visited and enjoyed, perhaps something to add to your grocery store list if you’ve never been. I thought Shanghai Market was good for Chinese essentials (especially hot pot needs) (and a decent Korean selection as well)). Chan Oriental in Bloomington is more Vietnamese/Cambodian focused. The market selection is smaller, but what I found special about them is their ready made deli goodies ( things like egg rolls, sandwiches, etc . and these amazing glazed sesame donuts). They also have fresh sugarcane juice available to order
Have not been to either–will put both on the list. Thanks!
Dear Annoying – Since you often opine (always annoyingly) on various social/cultural aspects of the foodie world, why do you (as far as I can tell) rarely comment on the suffering of sentient creatures like frogs and eels, to appease our appetites, not to mention the immense suffering and environmental impact of the entire animal-eating industry? I admire your insight, and was just wondering. Long-time follower,
Well, I am quite obviously a non-vegetarian and realize that animals die for me to eat them. As far as possible, I try eat animals raised in a humane and environmentally sound manner, while acknowledging that I do not always achieve that goal. I also don’t eat as much meat anymore as I once used to. I don’t really have a whole lot more than that to say on the subject. I understand the views of those who feel that any eating of animals is cruel and wrong.