By Ochiaka Ugwu
In an effort to deepen cultural exchange with Nigerians, the Korean Cultural Centre, Nigeria has kicked off Hansik cooking challenge in collaboration with the Association of Professional Chefs Nigeria.
Speaking during the event last week at the Korean Cultural Center in Abuja, Event Manager of the Centre, Suyeong Kim said the cooking challenge would help participants and Nigerians to understand Korean Culture better.
Kim said Hansik refers to food made using food ingredients used in Korea, or similar ingredients, noting that it could be food made using Korea’s traditional cooking methods or similar recipes, as well as making use of tangible and Intangible resources, activities and food culture related to that food.
Kim said that Hansik Culture encompasses food, alcohol, tea, beverages and even processed foods that utilize Korean ingredients.
She said it also includes recipes, table setting, tableware, cooking utensils, design, and dining etiquette.
Kim stressed that the cooking challenge would enable Nigerian Professional Chefs experience cooking Korean foods, experience new food recipes, inspire professional chefs with new ingredients and food culture.
Continuing, she said it would pave way for cultural exchange between Nigeria and Korea pre-event of next year’s food festival.
Kim listed Hansik for the event as follows: GungJung Tteokbokki, Japchae, Hotteok, Jeon and Eolkeun Kalguksu.
speaking further on the food to be cooked at the event, Kim said that GungJung Tteokbokki (Royal Stir-fried Rice Cake) was Tteok (Rice cake) cut into pieces and stir-fried with beef, mushrooms, onion, and carrots in a sweet soy sauce mixture. A dish traditionally served in the royal court.
She said that Japchae (Stir-fried Glass Noodles and vegetables) was a Glass noodles stir-fried with beef and assorted mushrooms and vegetable. A colourful classic dish that was always served at large gatherings or on special occasions.
Kim stated that Hotteok (Syrup-filled Pancake) was a fermented flour dough shaped into balls, filled with a spoonful of brown sugar and pan-fried in a preheated pan. Brown sugar mixed with cinnamon powder was a common filling, but seeds, nuts, and vegetables mixed with glass noodles were popular as well. It can be street food, but also fancy desserts.
She noted that Jeon (Pan-fried bettered Pan cakes) was a colourful dish of beef, fish and vegetable slice coated in flour or egg batter and pan-fried. The assorted Jeon were tastefully arranged on a plate.
Kim said that Eolkeun Kalguksu (Spicy Noodle Soup) was a spicy noodle dish made by boiling knife-cut noodles in hot anchovy broth seasoned with gochujoang (ted chili paste) and red chili powder.
Moreover. Kim said the vital ingredients for Hansik includes: Gochugaru (Chili Powder), Ganjang (Soy Sauce) Gochujang (Chili paste) and Myeolchi Aekjeot (Anchovy Sauce).
She outlined process of challenge as follows: Getting ingredients from Korean Cultural Centre, Nigeria, Cook at own restaurant/Home with Recipe Booklet, Take cooking videos & Photos, Taking Photos of your food, taking Photos of your food with you and share Videos, Photos, review of your experience with KCCN.
She informed that at the end of the event, five chefs would be invited to the Centre for interviews on project of introducing Nigerian Chefa and foods which would be posted on KCCN social media platform and gifts of extra Korean ingredients would be given as well.
Chef Sam Godwin, Coordinator of Association of Professional Chefs, Nigeria, Abuja Chapter thanked Korean Cultural Centre Nigeria for putting up the program saying that it would greatly enhance Nigeria/Korea relations.
Also speaking, Chef Fatima Haruna who commended KCCN for staging the cooking Challenge expressed optimism that it would lead to more cultural fusion between Nigerians and Koreans.