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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

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.

For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.  

“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.

However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Spooktacular Halloween

October 17

Fall Festival

October 18

Veterans Casework Seminar

October 21



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