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Expand Your Korean Horizons At H&Y

If you’ve wondered what Korean food tastes like, a visit to H&Y Marketplace in Hicksville is in order. The store features samplings of at least eight different dishes every Saturday and Sunday. On a recent visit I enjoyed leek and meat filled mini dumplings, udon noodles, seaweed salad, their special Gold Ratio Multigrain rice and bulgogi (marinated sliced ribeye). After tasting their seafood pancakes, I took home a batch of fresh batter to cook later in the week. It was good.

It’s a smart move to provide these tastes because although Long Islanders are familiar with other Asian cuisines such as Chinese and Thai, Korean food is a relative newcomer here.

“We want people to experience our 5,000 year old culture and cuisine,” says Robert Han, vice president of H&Y, the second generation in the family business. Han’s parents arrived in the U.S. in 1985, opening up a vegetable store. There are now four H&Y markets in the metropolitan area, with the store in Hicksville having opened in 2007.

H&Y stands for Han Yang, an ancient name for Seoul, which is commonly used to represent the traditional values of health and youth. “Healthy eating and well being are an important part of the Asian diet,” says Han.

Korean food, relying heavily on natural ingredients, is hearty and the flavors are bold, especially in kimchi, the spicy cabbage slaw that is served with every meal. I love their array of fiery orange/red kimchi and asked Han how to choose. Each brand is different, depending upon the fermentation process — how long, how much salt, what kind of salt. With 10 different ingredients, including napa cabbage, ginger, garlic and soy sauce, there is infinite variety. He recommended the Hansol brand for a first taste of kimchi and then explained the store’s policy: if you try it and don’t like it you can return it. “We want customers to explore their taste buds,” he says.

And if the return policy isn’t enough, Han says the staff is very willing to help customers make their choices of any products in the store. Often people will come in with cookbooks, asking for help to get the right ingredients for the recipes they want to try out. Han says they’re planning to run cooking classes in the spring.

Everything in the produce department looked fresh and enticing. I was impressed with the mushroom choices — that included king oysters, oyster mushrooms and enoki mushrooms in addition to the usual button and Portobello — and the fresh lime leaves, ginseng and lotus root. In the refrigerator section, the containers of the vividly colored fish roe — green, gold, red, black and orange — made me want to start making sushi. As would be expected in a cuisine that savors tabletop barbecuing there are lots of meats, sliced and prepared and ready for BBQ and some that are marinated and ready for grilling. The fish department is outstanding with lots of choices and live fish that, on a recent visit, included fluke, eel, black fish and lobster.    

About half the products in the store are Asian, says Han, and sometimes the variety of products can be daunting. There are at least 20 different kinds of soy sauces and within those variations are multiple manufacturers with their own distinctive tastes; 30 feet of store space is dedicated to soy sauces alone. Han urged, “Try something new.” I purchased a bottle of a ponzu sauce with citrus, keeping in mind H&Y’s we’ll-take-it-back-if-you-don’t-like-it policy. It was delicious and not as salty as some and is now at home on my condiment shelf.

H&Y Marketplace is located at 478 Plainview Road in Hicksville. For more information call 516-935-4041 or visit www.hy1004.com

News

On Nov. 10, a dedication ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of a beautiful new two-story house in Hicksville. However, while new dwellings are an ordinary occurrence on Long Island, this one was unique and special in a way that very few are.

The house at 77 Thorman Ave. was built in memory of Navy Lieutenant and posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Michael P. Murphy, a Long Island native who tragically died in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2005. However, this house represents more than just the dedicated service of a man to his country; it represents the beginning of a new life full of hope for a brother-in-arms and his family as well.

Commuting to work via train is exasperating and expensive—add on the stress of parking and the threat of tickets, and it becomes madness.

At the Hicksville Long Island Railroad (LIRR) station, there are 2,603 total spots, which includes 1,440 in the town parking garage. Of the total spots, 1,531 are permit spots and 618 are unrestricted, according to the Town of Oyster Bay public information office. Though that sounds like plenty, the sheer volume of passengers commuting from the station makes every morning a mad dash for parking.


Sports

Football was Mike Torrellas’ heart and soul. He also liked a good Turkey Bowl.  

Unfortunately, the Hicksville Crusaders co-founder wasn’t able to witness the program’s inaugural event, which took place Saturday, Nov. 8.

Torrellas passed away suddenly last December due to a blood clot, but the spirit and drive of the man who wore the number 53 and tragically passed at that age still surrounds the Crusaders football program.

The Long Island Fight for Charity will be hosting its 11th annual Charity Boxing Event on Nov. 24 at the Hilton in Melville. Among the 20 volunteers putting up their fists for funds will be Hicksville business owner Mell Goldman, who will be fighting under the nickname “The Kid.”  

Goldman is the President of All Boro Cleaning Services. He stated that he was enticed at the opportunity and wanted to contribute to charity.


Calendar

Fall Drama Production

November 20-22

Blood Drive

November 24

Christmas Holiday Fair

November 24



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com