Southeast Asian cuisine takes over Korean palate

Southeast Asian cuisine takes over Korean palate


Southeast Asian cuisine has taken the Korean
culinary scene by storm with its distinctive and punchy flavors. Now, with the ingredients available at nearby
stores, people are giving it a try at home, not just in restaurants. Cho Sung-min reports. The popularity of Southeast Asian cuisines
in Korea is rapid growing, according to government data. A report by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food
and Rural Affairs and the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation in July…states
that the second quarter business index for Thai, Vietnamese, and Indian restaurants…marked
the highest among all types of restaurants at 83.22 points…while restaurants serving
traditionally popular cuisines…such as Chinese and Japanese food have made past the 70 point
mark. The growing popularity of Southeast Asian
cuisines is also reflected in the average grocery shopping cart. Spices and condiments mostly used in Vietnamese
and Thai kitchens are gradually becoming steady sellers…as more people are trying their
hand at making dishes from those regions. (KOREAN)
“It’s easy to fetch Southeast Asian ingredients like rice paper and spices…as you can easily
find them in local markets these days. I frequently make my own dishes at home.” The trend has triggered domestic food companies
to put out their own lines of Thai and Vietnamese-style sauces and microwavable meal products. (KOREAN)
“More people are fond of the intense and distinctive flavors that Southeast Asian sauces bring
to the table. So we decided to follow the trend and come
up with our own products.” According to industry experts, the increasing
number of Korean tourists to Southeast Asian countries as of late is seen as a main reason
behind the overall interest in Southeast Asian food. Mode Tour, one of Korea’s biggest tourist
agencies, says the number of people who chose to travel to Southeast Asia as their vacation
destination from late July to early August this year…has seen a 60 percent increase
compared to the same period in 2016. As such, experts forecast to see more Korean
travelers booking their flights to Southeast Asia,…indicating that the popularity of
Southeast Asian food is most likely to remain steadily high and promote this market to grow
even further. Cho Sung-min, Arirang News.

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