Chicken eating and eateries are so popular in South Korea that President Park Geun-hye recently called his country the ‘Chicken Republic’. In other words, the bird has unofficially become the symbol of K-food culture.
South Koreans consume more meat and more chicken than the Chinese and Japanese. An average South Korean consumes 15.4 kilos of chicken a year, while the Chinese average is 11.4 kilos and the Japanese, 13.6 kilos.
While chicken is used in numerous dishes, the Korean-style fried chicken that mixes Western cooking with oriental seasoning has emerged to become the most-popular.
Jun Ji-hyun takes ‘chimaek’ to China
Chimaek–‘chi’ for chicken and ‘maek’ for maekju, Korean for beer–has been Korea’s recent food addiction. Now, the Chinese are, too, cheering with a chicken drumstick in one hand and a cup of beer in the other, thanks to the Korean dramas that are spreading the country’s food culture.
Chicken has become a popular item of the Korean culinary wave, especially in neighboring China, thanks to the SBS drama “My Love from the Star” that brought Korean-style chicken to the attention of the Chinese public. After the drama’s heroine Jun Ji-hyun cheered up over ‘chimaek’, Chinese fans queued for hours at Korean chicken stores.