Busan arranges fishcake and beer party for Chinese tourists

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : October 19, 2016, 14:53 | Updated : October 19, 2016, 14:53

Eomuk-tang [Courtesy of Samjin Food]

A cruise ship carrying about 1,300 Chinese tourists will visit South Korea's southern port city of Busan this weekend, attracted by a K-pop concert and an "Eomaek (fishcake and beer) party, city officials said Wednesday.

On its way to Shanghai, the cruise ship will make a two-day visit to Busan Saturday to participate in a city-sponsored program including shopping, fireworks, a K-pop festival, city authorities said.

The program's crucial part is an Eomaek party using beer and fishcake called "Eomuk" in Korean, a processed seafood product made of ground white fish and other ingredients such as potato starch, sugar and vegetables.

Eomuk, introduced during Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule over the Korean peninsula, is used for various dishes in South Korea. Especially, "Eomuk-tang (soup)", served on a skewer in broth, is a very popular street food.

Apparently, Busan has invented "Eomaek" to counter the popularity of "Chimaek", a combination of chicken and beer, which has lured many Chinese tourists into South Korea.

Helped by the Korean pop culture wave "Hallyu", K-pop stars eating certain snacks and food have created food fads both in South Korea and China.

Neither fried chicken nor beer originated in South Korea, but a combination of these two overseas imports has become a culturally significant force in drinking culture here.

The Chimaek fever has swept through China, helped by a line from South Korea's fantasy-romance TV drama "My Love from the Star" which became a cult hit in China.

Aju News Lim Chang-won = cwlim34@ajunews.com
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