Global Eats

The Twin Cities' Spiciest Global Eats

Keep the flames burning this Valentine’s Day with one of these five kick-starters.

Spicy Seafood Tofu Soup from Dong Yang
Photos by Katherine Harris
Spicy Seafood Tofu Soup from Dong Yang

Spicy Seafood Tofu Soup at Dong Yang

This little hole in the wall located in the back of a supermarket is arguably the best Korean restaurant around. And your date will definitely be impressed if you stride right up to the counter and confidently place your order for a piping hot, sweat-inducing bowl of broth, soybean paste, custardy tofu, gochujang, crushed red pepper, and bits of seafood. You only need to look at its bright red color to know what’s to come. Remember it’s cash only and there’s no bar, but you could always take it to go. Champagne and kimchi is a combination for the ages. 735 45th Ave. NE, Mpls., 763-571-2009

Laab at On’s Kitchen THAI CUISINE

On’s classic Southeast Asian salad of minced meat, lime, fish sauce, chopped Thai chilies, and kaffir lime leaves is an explosive treat. Transfer a couple of spoonfuls onto the accompanying lettuce leaves, roll them up, and feed it to your date. How sensuous and Freudian is that? 1613 University Ave. W., St. Paul, 651-644-1444,


Jamaican Jerk Shrimp from Marla's

Jamaican Jerk Shrimp at Marla’s Caribbean Cuisine

If it’s heat you want, Marla’s delivers a clear punch. The highest intensity on the menu at this island escape is “Marla’s Hot” and, as the description proclaims, “Only a few survive before they call for their mama’s.” You can have your jerk here four ways: chicken, shrimp, tofu, and tilapia. Kick it up even more by ordering a side of Marla’s blisteringly hot ghost pepper wings. 3761 Bloomington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-724-3088,

Lamb Vindaloo at Copper Pot Indian Grill

Indian restaurants tend to be accommodating when it comes to expressing a preference for heat intensity, so just about any dish can be elevated. Where base heat is concerned, the vinegary, herbal, pepper-infused blending of a tradition vindaloo reigns. Unless your taste buds are protected by steel implants, don’t request your order to be prepared “hot.” 10 S. 5th St., Mpls., 612-331-6677


Chung King Chili Chicken from Grand Szechuan

Chung King Chili Chicken from Grand Szechuan

There are more than a few things on this menu that will have you reaching for your glass. But one notable choice, its version of the classic lip-numbing Szechuan dish, will definitely light it up. The combination of lightly battered chicken bites, onions, peppers, and vegetables is irresistible and incendiary. 10602 France Ave. S., Bloomington, 952-888-6507,