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The World’s Best Foods Are At Koreana

After a recent meal at Koreana in Hicksville, I found a list of the world’s 50 best foods from a poll conducted by CNN in 2011. Four Korean dishes were there: galbi (41), bibimbap (40), bulgogi (23) and kimchi (12) and I was pleased to have eaten three of the four.

It’s impossible to escape kimchi at a Korean meal and at Koreana the spicy fermented cabbage appears as one of the little vegetable side dishes, called banchan, that are brought to the table. In addition to the kimchi there were soy bean sprouts, macaroni with mayonnaise, vegetable stir fry seaweed seasoned with white vinegar, and acorn jelly made from acorn starch. The banchan vary according to the choices of the chef. Whatever the variety, care is taken to make sure there is a wide representation of flavors, textures and color.

Health, too, is a big concern at Korean meals. Kimchi is packed with vitamins and minerals; the seaweed is good for hemoglobin production and eating lots of vegetables is generally a good thing.

They’re never at a loss for fresh ingredients at Koreana. All they need do is walk out the door and in a few steps they’re in the attached H&Y supermarket where everything they might need is close at hand.

Korean cuisine is not defined by vegetables alone and so we also had delicious bibimbap, BBQ and fried chicken, plus noodle dishes and casseroles.

Bibimbap, which translates as “mixed meal,” is served in a bowl and features greens and other vegetables such as bean sprouts, zucchini and red peppers, plus beef, atop rice. It is crowned with a runny egg. Mix it together and add as much hot sauce as pleases you. A variation, dolsot bibim bap, is made in a heated stone pot. The bottom of the ultra hot bowl is coated with oil. When cooked rice is added, the hot oil sizzles the bottom of the rice, creating a crunchy crust.

For the BBQ, you can do it yourself at the table or they will prepare it for you in the kitchen. I was told that BBQing at your table is generally done during the evening meal. I guess people are in more of a hurry at lunchtime. I had the kitchen prepare pork bulgogi (bulgogi means “fire meat”), thin slices of marinated pork. It came with lettuce leaves and the way to eat it is to fold the meat, rice and condiments in the leaf.

Fried chicken is number 31 on the CNN list and the fried chicken at Koreana—Bonchon—puts most other fried chicken I have had to shame. The chicken is coated with a spicy or soy garlic sauce, which is shipped to Koreana from Korea. It is fried twice and served with a side of cubed, pickled Korean radish. Because nothing is prepared in advance, it takes up to 20 to 30 minutes to make the chicken so it should be ordered in advance or upon arrival at the restaurant.

I have yet to try galbi, which is beef short ribs, thinly cut and prepared with a marinade or without. That’s for the next visit.

Koreana is located at 478 Plainview Road. For more information, call 516-932-4690.

News

Hicksville improv sketch comedy group, Unrehearsed, will be performing this weekend at Crossroads Farm in Malverne.

The group, which consists of performers from Hicksville, will put on a fast-paced, interactive improv sketch show which will be made up completely on the spot. The only thing the actors know is which improv game they will be playing.

An Unrehearsed show follows a format similar to popular improv sketch comedy television shows, such as "Whose Line Is It Anyway," using games to create hilarious situations that are completely made up on the spot.

Superintendent Maureen Bright and the Hicksville School District are parting ways, a year earlier than originally planned.

At a Board of Education meeting May 20, Bright announced that she would not be renewing her contract when it expired at the end of the 2014-15 school year. However, a notice posted last week on the Hicksville School District website stated that she is leaving her position July 31, 2014.


Sports

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its fourth tournament on Thursday, July 17. We had 34 golfers and only three who scored under 40. Low overall score was won by Charlie Hong with an impressive 34. Joe Sander scored a solid 49 and won low overall net with a 31.

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more. The league is a 100% handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season. The league meets every Thursday at 7:30 a.m., but the formal tournament dates are only the first and third Thursday of the month through late October. We will have a final luncheon with prizes on our last meeting.

The Michael Magro Foundation is once again partnering with The Mastermind Unit to put on the annual Soccer For A Cause tournament. The event, which raises money for the Michael Magro Foundation, will take place at the Kevin Kolm Memorial Field in Hicksville this Saturday.

The soccer tournament is an enjoyable event, which offers participants the chance to enter in the competitive game. In years past, approximately 20 soccer teams from the tri-state area have played. All participants will be able to enjoy music and entertainment while supporting a worthy cause. Each registrant will receive a special event t-shirt. Teams can register online at http://www.mastermindunit.com/ with a $500 donation.


Calendar

Soccer For A Cause

August 2

Blood Drive

August 2

Holy Family Church Fair

August 13-16



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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