The most-anticipated cuisine event for Korean food lovers, Korean Gastronomy Week, has returned to Hanoi.
The two-week event is being held at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, featuring “spiritual” Korean gastronomy with extraordinary dishes created by Chef Jeong Kwan, a Buddhist nun, influential vegan chef (winner of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants’ prestigious Icon Award Asia 2022), and star of the award-winning Netflix series Chef’s Table.
“Temple food culture is about sharing, and also about nature and mind connectivity, so mindfully consuming, mindfully preparing, thinking about nature, thinking about the ingredients,” said Chef Jeong Kwan.
|Chef Jeong Kwan. (Photo: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel)
2022 Korean Gastronomy Week focuses on 3 key concepts: premium Korean ingredients, sustainable food culture, and Korean temple food.
What’s special here is that the dishes on Chef Jeong Kwan’s special menu are inspired by the world of Korean temple cuisine using premium Korean ingredients.
“This year, we are focusing on Paprika, Persimmon, Shine Muscat, and Shiitake Mushroom, which are directly imported from South Korea. And the reason we are doing this because custom restrictions have been lifted, so it’s very easy to import now,” said So Yeon Kim, the culinary guide of Korean Gastronomy Week 2022.
”With these products as the main ingredients, Jeong Kwan has also used special ingredients, such as her own home-made paste, made of soybean paste (doenjang), chili paste (gochujang), rice syrup, and black current (omija syrup),” said So.
Jeong Kwan is known as a pioneer and promoter of temple cuisine. Her profound food philosophy works in the service of the body, the mind, and the planet. She doesn’t use the five “pungent spices” (garlic, onions, scallions, chives and leeks) – ingredients which some Buddhists believe stimulate the libido.
|(Photo: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel)
This year, Korean Gastronomy Week showcases à la carte dishes prepared by chef Jeong Kwan and a five-course set menu, including Black Sesame Jook with Tomato Jangajji; Tofu-stuffed Paprika & Shiitake Mushroom Umami Jorim; Farmer’s Jang Ddeok & Persimmon Muchim; Namul Bibimbap & Root Vegetables and Morel Mushroom Tangsui; and Shine Muscat confit in Refined Tomato Syrup with Seaweed Bugak & Potato Bugak.
Culinary guide So Yeon Kim explained the two starters, “The Black Sesame Jook (jook means porridge) is made with black sesame, sticky rice, and rice powder. We make it into a porridge, with a side of tomato Jagajji, which is like pickled tomatoes.”
“Next is Tofu stuffed Paprika & Shiitake Mushroom Umami Jorim. You put lightly seasoned tofu as the topping on the paprika and steam it. On the side is the Shiitake Mushroom Jorim. Then the chef adds her own rice syrup to create sweet and saltiness balanced together.”
So, those are two light dishes to start with. Next, Kim will tell us more about Chef Jeong Kwan offer for the main course, “Farmer’s Jang Ddeok & Persimmon Muchim is one main course. Jang Ddeok means pancake. The chef uses all kinds of local vegetables, and whatever she likes and finds, she puts into the pancake mix, and she grills it in the Korean style pancake, using Doenjang and Gochujang.
“On the side is persimmon muchim, and then she adds all kinds of marinates and sauces and makes it into salads. Our second main course is Namul Bibimbap & Root Vegetables and Morel Mushroom Tangsui. The chef uses three kinds of vegetables. “Namul” means “mountain herbs”. Then, she uses dried pumpkins and bean sprouts, with a side of steamed root vegetables with sweet and sour sauce.”
To finish the meal, we have Shine Muscat confit in Refined Tomato Syrup served with potato bugak as the dessert.
Hey, gourmets, what are you waiting for? Discover the exquisite Korean temple cuisine menus created by Jeong Kwan, and her philosophy of mindfulness and sustainable food culture. Korean Gastronomy Week menus are available from October 15 to 30, exclusively at Le Club Bar, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel, Hanoi.