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2012 Food Trend: Food from a Gourmet Country, Hansik Top 10

Last Year Was Good, Next Year will Be Better
Do You Want to Be a Trendsetter?
Just Eat Hansik!

 

 

As the interest in healthy lifestyle and dieting is rising, healthy food hansik is earning the love of people all around the world. It is enjoyed by many people who are tired of routine Japanese, Chinese, and Italian dishes. In addition, hansik is great as a banquet food, and for this reason is receiving high praise from many celebrities at invitational events worldwide, such as 2012 Madrid Fusion and Davos Forum. It is expected that hansik will do fairly well in 2012 as well. Do you want to be a trendsetter? You can lead with the knowledge of the best Hansik dishes picked out by foreigners. Just eat hansik and you will be at the center of the trend. Here is the list of the top ten hansik dishes recommended by foreigners who were interviewed for the section “I love Korea” of <Korea Agrafood.>

 
1.Bulgogi 2.Galbi
Representative Menu at Any Korean feast, “Bulgogi” and “Galbi”

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Hugh Jackman, a famous actor who starred in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, said during his visit to Korea in 2009, “I like bulgogi (slices of beef marinated in a soy sauce) and galbi (short ribs cooked in soy sauce). Eating bulgogi is my secret for maintaining a good body shape.” How did bulgogi and galbi captivate the taste of a Hollywood star and help him keep his body shape? The two dishes are representative menu items of any Korean feast. Their sweet and slightly salty sauce and the harmony of meat and vegetables make one’s mouth water, even if it’s the first time one tries the Korean food.

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Mr. Salmon
Besides the fact that I like meat, there are several reasons to enjoy galbi. What I like about it is the way it is cooked, and the atmosphere. Barbecue is a universal way of cooking food and, on top of this, galbi is accompanied with various vegetables and sauces. And the atmosphere is friendly and informal.


3.Naengmyeon
Jessica of Girls’ Generation Loves Naengmyeon

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You can often hear the voice of Jessica from Girls’ Generation (Korean idol girl group) on a street in Korea in the summer. She is singing the “Naengmyeon” song. Naengmyeon (literally “cold noodles”) is made with thin noodles and a tasty beef broth called “yuksu.” The dish comes in two varieties - mul-naengmyeon (cold buckwheat noodles in watery broth) and bibim-naengmyeon (a spicier and drier version of mul-naengmyeon prepared with gochujang). On a stiflingly hot day, naengmyeon, with its thin coat of floating ice, is a refreshing dish that will make your teeth and body cool. Or even freeze, just as in Jessica’s song.

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Ms. Jenny
The flavor of mul-naengmyeon was completely unlike anything I had ever tasted before. It was fantastic! I felt chilled and rejuvenated all at the same time. I would strongly recommend having the “naengmyeon experience” to any foreigner, especially in the present-day weather conditions.


4.Japchae
The Harmony of Chewy Sweet Potato Noodles, Vegetables, Beef, and Soy Sauce

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This representative Korean feast food is made by stir-frying sweet potato noodles (dangmyeon) with thinly sliced carrots, onion, spinach, mushrooms, and beef; and seasoning the dish with soy sauce. The chewy, sweet and salty taste of the dish appeals to both Koreans and foreigners alike. This was proved once more at the Davos Forum held in Switzerland last January. At the event, a famous chef, Edward Kwon, received favorable evaluations for cooking a new style japchae roll with caviar in soy sauce. Japchae also captivated the taste buds of gourmets at the 2012 Madrid Fusion Festival where Korea participated as a guest of honor.

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Ms. Kawamoto Keiko
I cooked japchae for my friend. The ingredients for japchae are potato starch noodles, beef, vegetables, and seasoning sauce. It was quite easy to put them together for this dish. The sauce is made of soy sauce, sugar, minced green onion, garlic, and sesame oil. It is a kind of stir-fried noodle dish and I like it! It’s not spicy at all!


5.Bibimbap
The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, Liked to Eat Bibimbap

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Bibimbap (rice mixed with various ingredients) was the first hansik dish to be made into an in-flight meal. These days, it is as popular in the sky as it is on the ground with Korean and international airlines often offering bibimbap to their passengers. Korean Air Lines (KAL) invented bibimbap as an in-flight meal. For the dish, the company won the Mercury Prize, referred to as the Oscars of the in-flight meal field. The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, fell in love with the dish for the harmony of ingredients in it. He tried bibimbap in the airplane and introduced its taste to his fans. Gwyneth Paltrow, a famous Hollywood actress, posted a video clip on the internet showing how to cook bibimbap.

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Dr. Claus
I like bibimbap. Its biggest merit is the taste. It does not contain much fat, but instead is rich in fiber.


6.Gimbap, 7.Topokki
Korean Street Food

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Gimbap : Gimbap (rice rolled in laver) is made of sticky rice mixed with sugar, salt, vinegar, and various other ingredients such as strips of crabmeat, fish cake, fried eggs, spinach, carrots, cucumber, and radish. All these ingredients are then rolled in seaweed and cut into bite-size pieces.

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Topokki : Topokki (grilled spicy rice cake fingers), made with red pepper paste and red pepper powder, tastes very spicy to both Koreans and foreigners. The Korean government surveyed 1,984 foreigners asking them to choose their favorite Korean food and, surprisingly, 313 of the respondents named topokki. So the dish took third in the chart. The snack is loved by people of all ages. 

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Ms. Ekaterina
When I meet my boyfriend and we feel like having some snacks together, we often choose gimbap and topokki. The more I try these Korean dishes, the more I like them. I am sure that I will look out for Korean food after I go back to Russia.


8.Samgyetang
Heat Be Gone! 23 Skidoo!

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Made with chicken, Korean ginseng, jujube and glutinous rice; samgyetang is a famous health food in Korea. On Boknal, which stands for one of the hottest days of the year, a big crowd always gathers in front of samgyetang restaurants. Why do Koreans have hot samgyetang, and not cold ice-cream, in the hot summer? People need to be well nourished with vitamin C and protein to maintain a good physical condition during stressful times or the hot season. Chicken (with its high protein value and fat) and ginseng (known to be effective in preventing stress, depression, anemia, and diabetes) can chase away stress and heat.

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Mr. Jeremy Cook
One of my favorite dishes is samgyetang. I have it at any time of the year, not only in summer. It is particularly healthy and, when stewed slowly, very tasty.


9.Dak-bokkeumtang
Dak-bokkeumtang, a Challenge to Coq au Vin (famous French dish - chicken braised in red wine)

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Dak-bokkeumtang is a spicy dish made with pieces of chicken and potatoes. Koreans enjoy eating it any time of the year. It can be served at the dining table, but it also goes well as a side dish to alcoholic drinks. Some people prefer it served as a delicacy on a hot iron plate. Recently, dak-bokkeumtang cooked with soy sauce instead of spicy gochujang (called “jjimdak”) is a popular dish of the Myeong-dong area.

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Mr. Brian Dean
I’m used to eating extremely spicy foods. Korean chicken, in all its variety, is my favorite. I enjoy dak-bokkeumtang, which is spicier than Canadian food, but not as hot as Indian food.


10.Samgyeopsal
Korean Bacon

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Samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly), or Korean bacon, is named for its three layers of lean meat and fat. It is the favorite pork part of many Koreans: the boneless cut of fatty meat derived from the belly of a pig. The harmony of fat and lean meat is really delicious. The meat, usually neither marinated nor seasoned, is cooked on a grill at the diners’ table. For this reason, it is difficult to call it a dish. Moreover, its history is quite short. Still, Koreans are hooked on the taste of the slightly burned meet, the fragrance of roasting meat, and the softness of pork. Foreigners love its taste, too - samgyeopsal came in first in a survey of favorite hansik dishes among foreigners.

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Mr. Leeyura
I can make samgyeopsal. In spite of the simple recipe, the dish tastes great, so I often have it. If there is grilled pork and a little salt and oil, plus bean paste, anyone can make it.

Park Sung Eun  parkse@agrinet.co.kr

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