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SIWA Members Attend MCST' Royal Food Class

2013/06/08 | Permalink | Source

Members of SIWA and cooking instructors at K-Food cooking class

Currently, the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (MCST) of South Korea is offering free cooking classes to foreigners in its efforts to promote traditional Korean food amongst foreigners.

Under MCST's special project ""Have You Ever K-food" a different cooking class is offered each week from May to November of 2013.

The cooking classes include royal food, and representative Korean dishes, and even casual street food. We attended this class with Seoul International Womans Association (SIWA).

Our class began with a tour of Changdeok-gung Palace. English tours are offered daily at 10 a.m. Changdeokgung palace was a favored place of many kings from the Joseon Dynasty.

Unlike the other Joseon palaces it holds many elements from the Three Kingdoms era as it attempts to harmonize the buildings with nature, according to the principles of Feng Shui.

The layout follows the principles of geomancy and attempts to integrate all elements of the palaces placement in harmony with nature. As such, the buildings flow unobtrusively with gardens and surrounding mountains.

This is one of the drastic ways that the palace differs from Gyeongbokgung. For this reason many people believe it is the most beautiful palace in Seoul.

Although Gyengbokgung's scale is much grander than Changdeokgung, the many gardens and landscape make up for its size. In addition to the palace, there is also a garden called Biwon or Secret Garden that you can enter for an additional fee.

To visit the palace take subway Line 3 to Anguk Station and get out at Exit 3. The palace is closed Mondays. Admission fee is 3,000 won roughtly three US dollars.

After touring the palace we made our way to the Tteok (Rice Cake) Museum. The cooking classes are located on the third floor of the facility just above the museum. The first thing we did when we entered the cooking class was put on traditional Korean outfits called hanbok.

After this we watched an instructor demonstrate how to make a royal dish called Neobiani. Neobiani is thin grilled beef, (differentiated from bulgogi in that it is hand and not machine sliced and therefore thicker. Bulgogi is a relatively new invention and this would have been an earlier dish probably reserved for the well off or royalty) marinated in a soy sauce based seasoning.

Once the instructions were over, teams of two were given ingredients and their own cooking station. The recipe was very simple with easy to find ingredients. Thaddeus and I had a great time preparing our Neobiani and were very excited to try our dish!

Once everyone was done cooking, we sat down to lunch. We were given rice, kimchi, soybean soup and seaweed as side dishes. It was a great experience!

If you would like to participate in this program you can download the application form at This class is also used for marketing so we you will be photographed and filmed throughout the experience.

Neobiani Recipe

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 tbsp Soy Sauce

1 tbsp sugar

tbsp honey

1 tbsp minced green onion

tbsp minced garlic

tbsp ginger juice

tbsp sesame seed

1/10 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp sesame oil

tsp minced pine nuts

tbsp vegetable oil

1) Clean blood off beef with paper towel, remove fat and tendons. Cut small slits throughout the meat to tenderize, going opposite directions and making sure not to cut through the meat.

2) Blend seasoning sauce EXCEPT for the vegetable oil and minced pine nuts.

3) Add seasoning sauce to beef and let marinate for at least 30 minutes

4) Heat the BBQ pan (or grill) and add vegetable oil. Heat the meat on high for 3 minutes then turn over, lowering the heat to medium, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

5) Remove beef from pan, plate dish and sprinkle with pine nuts.

The above story was co-written by Megan & Thaddeus Fox.

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