Kitchen Tips

Quick and Easy Guide to Korean Beef

Tender texture, succulent bites..if you’re a fan of red meat, especially, beef you cannot help but have an extra serving of the Korean Beef. The fiery Korean specialty, beef bulgogi, relished with a glass of Cabernet merlot  packs quite a punch in its layers and is to-die for.

Quick and Easy Guide to Korean Beef

Image Courtesy: kenichi nobusue used under the Creative Commons Licence

So what makes Korean beef so special?

Korean beef is also known as Han-U or Hanwoo. The breed of cattle is called Hanwoo and is indigenous to Korea. These cattle have been raised in Korea since 2,000 BC primarily for draught and occasionally for sacrificial rites. Due to the low number of cattle in Korea, consumption of beef was low until the economy started to enjoy good growth.

Even though Korean cattle in general are known as “Hanwoo” (Han-u and Hanu), the name applies to the most common type which has brown coat colour.

Quick and Easy Guide to Korean Beef

Image Courtesy: Alpha used under the Creative Commons Licence

How is Korean beef different from normal beef?

Korean beef has more Oleic acid (one of the fatty acids) than other beefs which decides the taste of meat. It is known to have a more genuine flavour than other beefs. Hanwoo is regarded as a premium beef because of its high palatability and desired chewiness.

Besides the flavour, the amount of marbling (the white lines you see in your raw beef) is the main determiner of a beef’s quality. Marbling refers to the amount of intramuscular fat present in the specific beef part.

Quick and Easy Guide to Korean Beef

Image Courtesy: Arnold Gatilao used under the Creative Commons Licence

Why Hanwoo?

Hanwoo is known to have relatively superior fertility but their slow growth rate and reduced milking yield reduce total beef production. The Korean cattle industry has aimed to increase the cattle number to meet the growing demand for beef in Korea. With the improvement of the economy more palatable beef is increasing in demand.

The Hoengseong county in Korea is best known for its Han-u cattle, where the environment is well-suited for cattle farming.

Top 5 Korean Beef Delicacies:

The famous beef bulgogi, Korean beef barbeque, dry beef curry, Stir fried beef with snow peas, braised beef with soy and star anise and many more.

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