Friday, September 7, 2012

Celebrate with H Mart coupons, rebates

The Spanish Mackerel Dinner at Woochon Restaurant in Palisades  Park.

Editor's note: Today, I report on a shopping trip with H Mart coupons, and another great dinner at Woochon Restaurant, a recent addition to the Korean dining scene in Palisades Park.

To help shoppers celebrate H Mart's 30th year in America, the Korean supermarket chain sent out a new coupon booklet to holders of its store card.

"The savings are almost as good as 30 years ago," the booklet cover boasts, but that's a wild exaggeration.

On Wednesday, I stopped at the Englewood H Mart and picked up three coupon items, plus fresh fish, baby bok choy and Korean sweet potatoes for dinner.

Three bags of Nong Shim Shrimp Crackers were $1 -- a savings of $1.97. Two 1-pound bags of Arizona Farm Cactus Honey Powder, a sugar substitute, were $4 -- a savings of $3.98.

And an 8-pack of Premium Roasted Seaweed snack was $1.99 -- a savings of $2.

Last year, H Mart issued a Smart Card, which entitles shoppers to in-store sales and a 1% rebate or reward.

But you don't get anything back until you spend $1,000 at its Bergen County stores. 

On Wednesday, I picked up a $10 rewards certificate at the Englewood store. However, it's not redeemable for cash.

I plan to use a coupon for Choripdong 7 Grains -- a combination of brown rice, beans and other grains. A 10-pound bag is $9.99 with the coupon, good from Sept. 8-23.

But after seeing the many artificial ingredients and colors in Hansung Seafood Nuggets, I decided against buying any.

Even the non-sale items were a good value.

At home, we had a wonderful dinner of pan-fried whole whiting; baby bok choy with sesame oil, soy sauce and garlic powder; and boiled and mashed Korean sweet potato with garlic powder and olive and sesame oils.

We pan-fried fresh whole whiting. They were $3.99 a pound.

Baby bok choy were 78 cents a pound. We plated the fish and bok choy with mashed Korean white sweet potatoes, which were $1.99 a pound.

A meal to share

Korean food lends itself to sharing, as I discovered at Woochon Restaurant in Palisades Park.

For dinner one night, I ordered grilled Spanish Mackerel ($16.99), then watched a procession of dishes arrive at my table.

First, 10 side dishes of tofu, vegetables and noodles were arrayed before me.

Some of the side dishes served at Woochon Restaurant.

You can order live fluke for an expensive, over-the-top sashimi dinner.

 As I worked my way through the side dishes, the fish arrived, along with a stone bowl of bean-curd soup and another dish holding the brown rice I asked for instead of white rice.

On the way out, I looked at one of the restaurant's fish tanks, and saw live fluke from Long Island hugging the bottom.

They were destined to come up for air, and be served as sashimi. 

After that big Spanish Mackerel dinner, I needed to come up for air, too.

Woochon Restaurant, 280 Broad Ave., Palisades Park; 201-242-9999.

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