Culture and tradition are exchanged, to a great extent, through the traditional cuisines of a country and the essence of its heritage is reflected in its gastronomic delights.
World tourism today is heavily dependent on the authentic foods of a region, more so in terms of attracting tourists to savour the delicacies of a culture.
Korean nationals, just as any other nation is, hold pride in their traditional cuisine, also known as Hansik which represents a national food source for the whole country.
“Hansik has evolved over some time, using the various vegetables and ingredients that are produced in the Korean peninsula, and today, it is known to be the best recipes that attend to the health of societies,” says Jeongmin Kwon, Second Secretary - Consul at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea.
For Koreans, rice is their staple food and a soup or stew, Kimchi, and other dishes made with meat, fish, or seaweed and the like, make their side dishes.
“Hansik has become popular for its healthiness because this cuisine is based on vegetarian and fermented foods as traditionally, Koreans are used to having vegetables more than livestock due to its geographical features,” says Sukyoung Kang, chef, the Korean Embassy.
“The impact of Hansik foods on the environment too is well known and has been emerging as a new and unique alternative source of food for people around the world in addition to being labelled healthy food,” Yerin Yim, Admin Officer, Korean Embassy.
Korean barbecue (Bulgogi) is one of the most popular Korean dishes in the world. Yet, it is not an everyday dish to Koreans, because beef used to be consumed only on special occasions in the past.
Even now, if you are served ‘Bulgogi’ by a Korean, it is safe to assume that it is a special treat.
Chef Sukyoung Kang shared the recipe of Bulgogi which enables even a beginner in cookery to prepare a delicious course for an occasion.
Recipe for Bulgogi:
50ml Soy sauce
1 t sesame oil
2 ts sugar
1/2 ts black pepper
1 t crushed garlic
30g spring onion
1/4 (Korean) pear
1. Mix soy sauce (50ml), sugar, crushed garlic and sesame oil in a bowl
2. Blend onion and pear in a blender (25ml each)
3. Mince spring onion and mix all of them
4. Prepare sliced beef (0.3cm thick)
5. Marinate the beef in the marinade (# 1-3) for 30 minutes
6. Slice onion and carrot into 1cm thick
7. Grease a pan lightly with oil and grill marinated beef with sliced onions and carrots.