Category Archives: Blog

US Love Affair With Korean Food: by UW Korean Restaurant

The American Future of Korean Food Products

After Japan and China, the third biggest market for Korean food products is the United States. That is according to Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp, Korea’s leading organization for the globalization of Korean agricultural and fishery products. The trend was observed to be on the rise at the rate of 10% average yearly in the last 10 years. The export of Korean food products like kimchi, gochujang and seaweed are already growing and gaining foothold in the American market signaling that other products can be on the way to becoming mainstream in the US.

Recently, at the 2-day September K-FOOD FAIR New York, a juried collection of more than 28 exporters and 100 plus unique products from Korea were showcased to American attendees. It was organized by the South Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs. It paved the way for direct meetings and sampling opportunities that were promising enough to merit its annual holding from hence.

There were new and interesting food and beverage products, that were also health-giving and delicious, that retail stores, restaurants and other distribution channels can introduce to American consumers.

And how did Korean food imports become so popular in the US market? Consumers have become familiar with Korean eats from restaurant experiences, buying from food trucks and watching television cooking shows. They have developed the taste for Korean tacos, Korean fried chicken and bibimbap. Young children bring along Korean snacks to share in their lunch boxes. Also, more people are discovering the health benefits of Korean ingredients, like kimchi, red ginseng, aloe drinks, Korean pears, Korean mushrooms, Hamyang bitter melon products, among others.

Restaurant chefs in New York, in particular, use Korean base ingredients well, such as fermented soybean paste and chili paste, seaweed, tofu, dry-aged persimmon, and a variety of kimchi to recreate new dishes. Chefs discover the Korean techniques of fermentation, aging and pickling ingredients, and then using those techniques to craft new creations, going beyond typical Korean dishes. Now, due to the adventurous taste and the inclination to acquire new tastes and concepts, Korean food makers are targeting millennials, they who easily connect to new products and experiences.

Learning To Love Korean in UW Seattle

One of the best ways to get introduced to Korean culture and cuisine is to try out popular neighborhood restaurants that serve a variety of Korean selections. Stop by your UW Korean spot, the Korean Tofu House, to first-hand experience kimchi, bibimbap, tofu, and barbecue. It’s not to be forgotten.

Little Known Details About Korean Foods

Background Check of Your Favorite Korean Dishes

How much do you really know about the most popular Korean foods apart from its intoxicating flavors, healthy ingredients and well-known spiciness?
Let’s look at few interesting background tidbits.

Rice. It is the biggest crop produced in South Korea. It is central to Korean cuisine. Bap is the Korean word for rice, describing meals or food in general. The starchy, sticky as glue staple is equivalent to the American bread and butter.

Banchan (Korea’s equivalent to tapas) are side dishes, as many as 8 or more at the table. Small portions are served, almost always refillable, but meant to be all consumed. Korean custom is that you should always leave the table full.

Bulgogi literally means ‘fire meat.’ The beef or pork is marinated and grilled over an open flame for intense flavor. It’s also called Korean barbeque. It used to be traditionally prepared especially for the wealthy and the nobility.

Japchae means ‘mix vegetables’ in Korean. It was first introduced in the imperial court of the of the Joseon dynasty, created by a king at the time. Originally just vegetables and mushrooms, the dish is now prepared with stir-fried glass noodles.

Man-doo, Korean-style dumplings, are considered symbols of good luck during lunar New Year festivities. Did you know that the dumplings are not of Asian roots, but actually originated from Mesopotamia?

Tdeukguk, or Tteokguk, literally translates to rice cake soup. It’s a traditional Korean New Year celebration dish. It is customary to eat it to get older.

Loving Popular Korean Foods in Seattle

Whatever the background of your favorite Korean dish, enjoy the flavors and textures of our popular selections at Korean Tofu House. We love tradition and we know you do, too.

Secrets of Sesame Oil by UW Korean Restaurant

The Common Oil and Its Not So Common Benefits

Sesame oil is an amber-colored, edible vegetable oil derived from pressed toasted sesame seeds. While South India uses it as cooking oil, other Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern and African countries employ it as an excellent seasoning and flavor enhancer. Sesame oil has a distinct nutty and buttery flavor and aroma. There is a lighter-colored version of sesame oil, made with untoasted seeds and sold in health-food or some Middle Eastern stores. Because its flavor is mild, it’s more suitable for cooking than dark sesame oil.

It is widely used in Korea, called chamgireum, a common ingredient in Korean cooking. it is used to make namul, a vegetable side dish, adding a glossy finish to it. The popular bibimbap also uses a big spoonful of sesame oil to add flavor. Salt and pepper are also mixed with the oil to make a dipping sauce for grilled meat, like pork and lamb, to reduce or mask the gamey flavor of the meats.

Koreans prefer the color amber sesame oil for stir-frying meats and vegetables, or for sauteing, or used in the final stages of cooking. They don’t use it for deep-frying as it burns easily owing to the oil’s natural antioxidants.

The impressive amount of vitamins, minerals, organic compounds, and other beneficial components in sesame oil is the reason why it is considered so healthy. It is a rich source of Vitamin E, magnesium, copper, calcium, and zinc. And unlike most oils, sesame oil is high the beneficial polyunsaturated fatty acid, Omega-6, which is known to lower blood pressure.

Heart-friendly, sesame oil contains a wide range of polyunsaturated fatty acids, keeping the cardiovascular system healthy, lowering cholesterol levels, reducing atherosclerosis. Rich in zinc, the oil increases skin elasticity and smoothness, helping to reduce the early signs of aging. It’s also be used as a sunscreen or may even treat skin fungal infections. It also retains the natural color of hair and minimizes hair loss.

Sesame oil’s significant copper content enables optimal production of red blood cells, life-giving to the different tissues and organs of the body. Copper is a natural anti-inflammatory agent reducing the inflammation and discomfort in gout and arthritis, swelling of joints and blood vessels.

On the other hand, the copper, zinc, and calcium combination in sesame oil promotes bone growth, regrowth and healing, hence delaying osteoporosis and other age-related weaknesses of the bones.

Healthy Flavor Enhancers in Seattle

Enjoy your favorite UW Korean restaurant favorites enhanced by the flavor and aroma of healthy sesame oil. For meals delicious and nutrient-rich, head no further than the Korean Tofu House.