South Korean food fair in China to promote traditional samgyetang

By Park Sae-jin Posted : June 1, 2016, 15:38 Updated : June 1, 2016, 15:38

Samgyetang is a traditional Korean ginseng chicken soup [Photograph by Park Sae-jin]

South Korea will hold a food fair in China next week mainly to promote its ginseng chicken soup samgyetang, marking the beginning of exports of the traditional delicacy to the world's largest economy.

The four-day K-food fair will be held from June 2 in Xian, the capital of Shaanxi Province in central China, said the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

At the fair, samgyetang will be introduced as a dish representing South Korean groceries displayed by 25 companies, it said.

"The fair will be an opportunity to publicize the high quality and safety of our agricultural products among Chinese buyers," Minister Lee Dong-phil said.

His office hopes to export some $three million worth of samgyetang to China in the first year of sales. Last year South Korea exported $9.5 million worth of samgyetang to the United States, Taiwan and Japan.

Beijing has lifted a ban on samgyetang that gained its popularity through South Korea's runaway hit drama "Descendants of the Sun" which created a sensation in Asia and showed actor Song Joong-ki serving up a bowl of Samgyetang for actress Song Hye-kyo.

In an effort to meet Chinese requirements on food safety, South Korea has tightened the sanitary screening of chicken meat and processing.

Samgyetang, which uses a young chicken filled with garlic, rice, scallion and spices, ginseng and jujube, has been consumed as a healthy food on hot summer days.

Ginseng speeds up the metabolism of the body and is good for recovering from fatigue. Garlic acts as a tonic, and Chinese dates protect the stomach and also prevent anemia. Food experts say people with high body temperatures or allergies should avoid the dish because it boosts body temperature.

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