Han Yang Heaven
- Lisa Antinore
MMMMMMMMM!! Just finished up the last of some wonderful slabs of tempura-style "coo coo ma." I have no clue if I'm spelling it correctly, but I'm referring to Korean white, sweet potatoes that are sold this time of year over smoldering coals in garbage cans often in the parking lots of Korean superemarkets. (like the "mickeys" of my grandparents' generation..) I'm also muching on the last of some crispy octupus tentacles prepared the same way.. The sweet Korean woman in the enclosed outdoor restaurant section of Han Yang (big Korean supermarket on Northern Blvd in Flushing- call info, I'm too sleepy to look the address up...)put about a pound of the combimation into a brown paper bag, added some salt, and shook it all up. It was scrumptious- the octupus tender and the "coo coo ma" perfectly moist and sweet!! This was the best fried food I had purchased all year long, aside from the zeppole at Brooklyn's Santa Rosalia feast..
.I also bought some of the "coo coo ma" pre-packaged on a white cellopahne tray. It had been cut into chunks, roasted, sprinkled with black sesame seeds and showered with honey... Very Yummy!!!!
While there, I noticed a bunch of Korean youngsters slurping GIANT (seriously, THICK beyond belief...) white rice noodles that had been cooked in a tremendous cast iron pot with hot pepper sauce. I couldn't resist, so I bought a small container that my olefactory-inhibhited companion insisted I keep closed for the short ride home...Needless to say this stuff was PUNGENT.. Once home I discovered rather quickly that I needed a fork and knife to eat the bloody things!!! We are talking baby-eggplant sized noodles here, kiddos... My teenage cousin witnessed the spectacle and propmtly christened the dish "Bloody Bucatini ala Bobbit" You get the picture.... pretty tasty, though...
Han Yang is open, I believe, 24/7/365. If you like the "coo coo ma" as much as I do, consider buying a case of it...
You've described some of my favorite Korean street
foods that I really miss in Manhattan. Were the sweet
potatoes cut into crispy thin strips? It's been ages
since I've had any! BTW, I think the "thick noodles"
you talked about were sweet-rice cakes, for lack of a
better term, made basically the same way as Japanese
mochi & also used in Chinese cooking. Sweet or savory,
I love its chewy texture. It sounds like you had some
in a ubiquitous snack dish, "dduk-bok-i," something I
can't live without.
Help! The only listing for Han Yang in Queens is
apparently a restaurant, and when I called, I got a man
who spoke almost no english and couldn't tell me their
address. I'd love to check this out, and if you might
also know how to get their via public transportation,
my debt would be everlasting.