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Fusion hansik wows expats

About 15 people from different countries delved into dishes with such names as “Kimchi Pasta” and “Seafood Pancake of Seine River” on Wednesday at the Institute of Traditional Korean Food in Waryong-dong, central Seoul.

“I didn’t think that it would be this good. The purpose of my travel is to taste Asian food and I finally found things I can really enjoy. The flavors are really nice and soft. In Colombia we have mostly spicy food, but these, you can feel the actual taste,” said Carlos Wightman, a tourist from Colombia who participated in the tasting event. 
Cooks and participants of the tasting event hosted by the Institute of Traditional Korean Food pose with fusion hansik dishes on Wednesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
Cooks and participants of the tasting event hosted by the Institute of Traditional Korean Food pose with fusion hansik dishes on Wednesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

The fusion “hansik,” or Korean food, was created by 32 chefs from seven different cities ― Yanbian, Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles, Paris and London. They participated in a 10-day cooking class co-organized by the Institute, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corporation for the cooks to upgrade their hansik cooking skills. The tasting event was held on the final day of the course.

The chefs cooked up Korean dishes which were, or could be, flavored with ingredients of the cities they work in. Interpreted to meet local tastes, each dish was unique.

“Kimchi is the main in the dish, and all of the ingredients I used, like the tomato sauce, are from Korea. But the way of cooking was Italian,” said Kim Jeong-min, a New York-based cook who cooked up the Kimchi Pasta.

“Dishes that fused many different cultures like kimchi taco or bulgogi taco are really popular in New York right now, from on the streets to high-end restaurants. I studied French cuisine but never really had a chance to learn Korean cuisine. This was a great opportunity to get to know all about the current trend in hansik,” he said.

“This year’s program was a start, and if the responses are good, more could be arranged in the future,” said Yoon Sook-ja, director of the institute.

By Park Min-young  (claire@heraldcorp.com)
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