Korean Food has to be the latest food trend in London this year. This year at Taste of London Korea and Korea Foods has a massive stand showcasing Korean foods and ingredients like Kimchi, Gojujang (spicy bean paste), Ssamjang (fermented bean paste) and Bulgogi (Korean BBQ beef) sauce. Don’t miss this if you are visiting Taste this year.
Gizzi Erskine and Joe McPherson of Seoul’s ZenKimchi hosted a Korean Food tasting at their stand. This turned out to be a tour of some famous Korean dishes, ranging from those that are normally served at formal banquets to what is really popular now in their street food trends.
Korean Fusion Street Food
In the UK we are a little behind the burgeoning US trend with Korean flavours infusing our favourite street food dishes. We have seen small hints of this when Hawksmoor introduced the Kim Chi burger a while back. In California where I just spent a very busy month, Korean fusion food trucks were the most prominent among all the street food markets. This all kicked off in a big way when Kogi BBQ used Twitter to announce their locations and in turn became the darling of twitter and oft quoted case study about the efficacy of social media on promoting small food businesses.
Back to Gizzi’s Korean Feast.
Hot Splash Sashimi with Ponzu and Korean Pepper
Slices of Wild Sea Bass in a Ponzu sauce flavoured with Yuzu and drizzled with hot sesame oil. Beautifully fresh fish with a citrusy zing of the sauce.
La Style Korea Town Crispy Tuna Rice
This might look like a a regular piece of sushi topped with spicy tuna but the bottom of this has been crisped up on a pan to make that crunchy rice.
This is a dish of Royal Korean Cuisine origin and is now usually served in very formal occasions as beef is a real luxury in Korea. In Korea they would only have beef once a month or so as it is very expensive. They would probably use local Korean beef called Hanwoo, which has a very marbled meat not unlike Wagyu. The production is so small that this meat is never exported.
For this dish, a grass finished beef from Turner and George was used. Slices of raw beef was paired with Korean pears for crunch and dressed with a spicy sauce.
Korean Fried Chicken
This is Gizzi’s signature dish which she picked up from her travels in the US. It is twice fried brined chicken coated in a sweet, tangy and spicy sauce made with vinegar, gojujang and sriracha. Really messy but oh so moreish. Usually found at Korean bars as a bar snack to go with beer.
Hotdog Fried Rice
This might be a surprising fact : hotdogs are used in a lot of Korean dishes. Here it is used as the meat part of the fried rice. The rice is fried in a garlicky spicy sauce and served in a hot stone bibimbap bowl. Very flavourful and the hotdogs worked really well in the fried rice.
At this stage, we were totally stuffed but out comes a surprise course.
Surprise course: Bossam (Pork Wraps)
Bossam is an iconic Korean Dish which is made up of slices of highly flavoured pork boiled in spices and served wrapped in lettuce, fresh kimchi, ssamjang sauce and spring onions. (Note: David Chang of Momofuku roasts his pork shoulder with a caramelised topping instead of boiling it, which Korean food purists hate but New Yorkers love.) They would usually add an oyster to the wrap too. It’s fun as everyone has to participate, add their own condiments to put together their ultimate wrap and indulge. In Korea, bossam is usually served at banquets and everyone has their own version of this dish.
The ssamjang sauce is made with a mix of bean paste, gojujang, sugar and vinegar. This one is worth experimenting with.
Hotteok with Miso Ice Cream from Ice Cream Union
How would you like a variation of an ice cream sandwich. Here Gizzi recreates this with a Korean street food favourite, Hotteok, which is a cinnamon pancake, sliced open and served with some miso ice cream and drenched in a decadent miso caramel. A great explosion of salty and sweet with a background hint of cinnamon from the cake. Wow!
Gizzi used to serve variation of this menu at her KTown pop ups. If you see it being advertised again, sign up immediately. It’s really good.
See my highlights of this year’s Taste of London here.
EatCookExplore was a guest of Visit Korea at the Taste of London