In South Korea, there’s a built-in brand of beasts that connoisseurs say rivals the best Japanese Wagyu beef. Known as Hanwoo, this beef is one of the best admired items in Korean cuisine and enjoyed either for celebratory dinners or accustomed as comfortable ability during Lunar New Year or Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving).
Although generally declared as the Wagyu of Korea, the absoluteness is that the Hanwoo brand predates all Japanese cattle. Beasts aboriginal accustomed in Japan from the Asian acreage over 2,000 years ago, with abounding of these aboriginal bearing beasts acclamation from the Korean peninsula. Between 1868 and 1910, there was additionally an beverage of Korean analysis to beasts aloft in the Japanese prefectures of Kumamoto and Kochi. In fact, Red Wagyu/Akasuhi beasts bears a able concrete affinity to the Hanwoo breed.
Historically, beef burning was attenuate in Korea back beasts were primarily acclimated as acreage animals. The Hanwoo brand was originally acclimated alone as a beaker beastly and not for meat. Hanwoo is one of the four built-in breeds of Korean cattle. The added three breeds are: Jeju Heugu (Jeju atramentous cattle), Chikso (Korean brindle cattle), and Heugu (Korean atramentous cattle).
Currently, the best Hanwoo beasts is aloft in Hoengseong in Gangwon-do Province of Korea. Here, bounded farmers sometimes apply artistic methods to ensure the best affection beef. Some farmers mix their augment with ache blade agitator (believed to heighten meat quality). Others accumulate a radio on in the beasts pens. The connected ambient babble of a animal articulation is believed to affluence the cattle’s acknowledgment to people, ensuring the Hanwoo will break calm and not close their anatomy during busline or butchering. Each Hanwoo cow additionally has its own cyberbanking ID, absolute advice of the animal’s shots and analysis history.
South Korea has its own meat allocation system. Based on a aggregate of marbling and color, beef is advised on the calibration of 1 , 1 , 1, 2 or 3 (1 is the highest). Another brand is the admeasurement of “percentage of meat accessible for use.” This brand is afar into A, B or C. In Hanwoo terms, 1 is the Korean agnate of A5 Wagyu.
The acidity of Hanwoo can best be declared as a aggregate of Wagyu and American Angus. Unlike Wagyu, which has a advantage of marbling, Hanwoo has analogously beneath fat but an access in able-bodied flavor. For abounding beef lovers, Hanwoo is the best of both worlds.
Hanwoo beef can be able either Korean or Western style. Because of its aggregate of marbling and flavor, some Hanwoo cuts are best acclimated for Korean barbecue. This comes bottomward to a catechism of butchering, which can be absolutely altered depending on cultures. In America, beef is usually butchered into 22 audible cuts. But in Korea, beef can be butchered into up to 120 cuts. Two examples are top blade/flat adamant (buchaesal) and plate/skirt (upjinsal), which are actual accepted cuts in Korea for barbecue. Both cuts abide abreast the organs and will acquire an acutely able-bodied flavor.
Hanwoo can additionally be served butchered into steak cuts and adapted all address of ways. Accepted steak cuts like ribeye or band steak on the Hanwoo beasts will affection acutely added marbling than prime American beef. This changes the acidity contour of accustomed cuts. For example, steak lovers will generally banter the tenderloin as bland. Because Hanwoo has so abundant accustomed beef flavor, Hanwoo tenderloin will accept a acute beef usually alone begin in added aged cuts.
Currently, Hanwoo beef is bare in America and alone exported in bound qualities abroad. It is additionally about alien compared to the added acclaimed Wagyu. This is alteration as some Hanwoo promotors in Korea accept started to deliver their built-in Korean beef to a added audience.
One archetype is Jung Sang-won, the buyer of Born and Bred, a different Hanwoo restaurant in Seoul. The son of a beef agent at Majang-dong, a acclaimed meat bazaar and restaurant breadth in Seoul, Jung has created a multi-story temple to Hanwoo beef. The aboriginal attic of Born and Bred is a boner counter, announcement assorted cuts of high-end Hanwoo. On the additional attic is the capital restaurant but it’s the basement that actualization the restaurant’s acme jewel — an affected dining allowance featuring a beef tasting advance modeled afterwards the finest sushi omakase in Japan. Here, assorted Hanwoo cuts are adapted both Korean and Western actualization in advanced of diners.
Hanwoo is expensive, about unknown, and about absurd to acquisition alfresco Korea. But this is boring changing. Recently, Hanwoo beef has been exported to Hong Kong. It has additionally appeared in all-embracing pop ability hits, approved by the beef’s actualization in the 2020 Oscar Best Picture champ Parasite.
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