The kimchi (and other stuff) at Kim's

kim's market composite

Kimchi and more.

By Jessica Pasko

I love almost anything that's pickled or fermented, and I especially love spicy food. So I was pretty psyched to discover the store-made kim chi at Kim's Asian Market.

If you've never had it, Kim chi is basically a mix of pickled, fermented vegetables that's pretty commonplace in Korean cuisine. It's got a funky, slight pungent taste to it with a varying level of heat.

So how was it?

My first serving was just straight up, unadulterated. I was sort of hoping it'd be a little bit spicier (we go through a lot of hot sauce in my household), but it's nice and tangy.

Kimchi also bubbles when you open the jar, which, depending on how you look at it, is either cool or creepy. I kind of like the effervescence.

Anyway, I'll definitely be eating this kimchi with eggs and rice soon. A large jar of kimchi is $5.99 at Kim's, which I thought was pretty reasonable. You can also get it in small buckets and gallon-sized jars.

Admittedly Korean cooking isn't my specialty, but for those well-versed in the cuisine, Kim's is apparently tops in the area, so while you're there, look around. Celina is a major fan of Kim's, especially for their shiso leaves and their melons.

Kim's also stocks a small selection of cookware, including pressure cookers and dishes. The produce section is small but varied, and when I was in last week, the Korean pears in particular looked beautiful.

And of course, they've stocked all the staples a self-respecting Asian market should have, including giant bags of rice, spices, sauces galore and plenty of cool-looking little snack foods (and several varieties of potato chips, oddly). Oh, and there's a case of pre-made foods to go as well.

You'll also find Korean movies, Filipino ingredients and a small array of funny little tchotchkes. I even spotted what appears to be Korean bacon.

And if you're not up to cooking your own Korean food, the Kim family also runs Arirang, the Korean restaurant on upper Central.

Earlier on AOA: The ethnic market map

Find It

Kim's Asian Market
1649 Central Ave
Albany, NY 12205



It's good to see some of the suggestions from the original Ethnic market post get followed up on. Will the map itself be updated?

(hi jess, nice to meet you this weekend!)

@Jessica R: We are updating the map (and hope to continue to do so). We should have Kim's listed by the end of today.

Kim's kim chee is excellent stuff... I'm saying that by the standards of San Francisco where we had a lot to choose from. For those who go through it by the gallon, you can get a great deal by buying in a bag (in the cooler in back) then putting it in your own jar. I've never seen it effervesce, BTW... yours must have been REALLY fresh.

Also, the cooler offers a selection of panchan (the appetizers that are served on lots of little plates and come free with a Korean dinner) such as lightly fermented bean sprouts or tofu, pickles etc. They used to get a delivery in mid-week but the counter person on my last visit said they make an extra supply on weekends when local Koreans tend to shop.

I see Kim's on the way home nightly these days. I've been meaning to check it out. I need to get back to Indian Bizarre (sp) to get some of their premade meals. Also good & spicy, unlike the frozen dinners a la Price Chopper. :)

I love Kim's and I've been shopping there for years. They have the best kimchi by far and the best selection. There is cabbage kimchi of course, but Kim's is the only place I've found in the Albany area (outside of 32nd Street in NYC,) that has daikon kimchi. Another good way to enjoy kimchi is kimchi soup. Simmer kimchi in chicken or beef stock until tender, add firm tofu, scallions, sesame oil and a little cooked rice if you like. Yum!

Just be careful how you store the kimchi, it can give your fridge quite the aroma. My Korean friends usually put the kimchi container inside a large ziploc bag.

Other things we like from Kim's:
* Great selection of ready to cook meals in packets
* The sweets: chocolate straws, green tea ice cream, frozen dumpling-like deserts with fruit fillings.
* Bi bim bop ready to add cooked egg & serve dishes
* Meat for Korean bbq

Local Korean American here... Just a warning if you are going with kids... It is freezing in the store. Bring your coat!

Oh, I recommend this from the freezer section:

It is sandwich like with crispy outer shell and red bean paste and vanilla ice cream.

Kim's is actually under new management right (unless something has changed in the last 2 or 3 months). The family who owns Arirang sold it. I loved Kim's before hand but I have to say that I love it even more now. There has been more variety of products and pre made foods. I even find the kimchi to have a better flavor then before. And I was thrilled to find that I have been able to alot of what I use to get in Jersey and NYC when I lived downstate.

I forgot to mention. The 'korean bacon' is actually unsalted and not smoked. It's called Sam Gyup Sal. It was one of my favorite dishes growing up. I can't remember if Arirang has it on their menu but I know that Ta-Ke does.

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