Wednesday, June 15, 2011

H Mart sends out store coupons

NJ - Bergen County - Ridgefield: Super H-Mart ...Image by wallyg via Flickr
The biggest H Mart in Bergen County is in Ridgefield.

Tuesday's mail held a surprise -- a booklet of discount coupons from H Mart, the Korean supermarket chain with four stores in Bergen County.

The coupons give you a discount on produce; kimchi, poultry, meat and seafood; spicy soup mix, small appliances and other items. They are valid from June 18-July 1 or July 2-17.

I applied for an H Mart 1% cash rebate card a few months ago, and the coupons were sent to my home.

The booklet contains a "low-pricing pledge."

"H Mart is dedicated to giving you low prices every day. Not once in a while. Not once in a blue [moon]. But all day every day."

The store's prepared items are a great introduction to Korean food, if you haven't already discovered its vibrant colors and flavors. 

We regularly buy finger maki -- seaweed rolled around rice and crunchy vegetables -- stewed Alaskan pollock, potatoes or tofu in a spicy red-pepper sauce; and translucent noodles made from yam flour and mixed with vegetables.

H Mart is also our main source of whole fresh fish, such as the trio of sea bass my wife brought home on Monday.

The chain sponsors "Kimchi Chronicles," a PBS series with Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten that began on June 5 and can be seen locally on WNET. 

The H Mart in Englewood was just renovated, and there are stores in Fort Lee, the newest; Little Ferry, the dowdiest; and Ridgefield, the biggest. H Mart also has a store in Edison.

A salty Chinese tale

I had lunch with a friend at P.F. Chang's China Bistro in Hackensack on Tuesday, and three of the four dishes we tried were too salty.

My friend had a lunch special, beef and broccoli served over white or brown rice ($9.45). She liked the beef, but said overall, the dish had too much salt.

I choose three half-portions of vegetables: spinach with garlic, spicy green beans and Sichuan asparagus ($2.95 each). There was no charge for a bowl of brown rice.

The spinach was perfect, each vibrant-green leaf glistening with oil, but the sauces with the green beans and asparagus were so salty I didn't bother spooning them over the rice and tried to pick out just the vegetables.

Next time, I'll ask to have all the vegetables prepared with just garlic or see if there are any low-sodium options on the menu. Or I'll go to Lotus Cafe in Hackensack for lunch.

I looked around P.F. Chang's during our lunch and noticed a large majority of the 215 seats were empty, despite its location in Bergen County's premier shopping center.

P.F. Chang's China Bistro, 390 Hackensack Ave., 
Suite 50, The Shops at Riverside; 201-646-1565.

Back in control

After a four-day visit to Montreal, where I couldn't always find healthy food, I was glad to return and do some food shopping.

I picked up another large fillet of fresh, wild salmon from the Copper River in Alaska at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack for the bargain-basement price of $8.99 a pound.

I cut the fillet into six portions and baked them for 20 minutes with fresh lemon juice, coarse Aleppo red pepper and chopped mint and cilantro from the garden.

I had two portions for dinner, with a salad, and another this morning over salad with sun-dried and fresh tomatoes, hummus and a Korean stewed potato.

I never saw wild salmon on menus in Canada.

Free-range beef

ShopRite is selling Nature's Reserve free-range, grass-fed Whole Beef Tenderloin for Filet Mignon from Australia for $4.99 a pound with a store card through June 18.

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  1. Victor, did you get a chance to check out any of the supermarkets in Montreal?

  2. No, unfortunately. I usually like to do that. We didn't have a car, and our hotel was downtown.

    The only food stores I saw were small produce markets, including one that had fantastic Middle Eastern meat pies, za'atar and so forth.


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