By Yoon Hee Young
“Forget wagyu and Kobe.”
This is the subheadline of a USA Today article posted on March 5 featuring hanwoo (premium Korean beef).
In her article titled “Why Korean Hanwoo beef might be the best meat on earth,” writer Kate Springer began her explanation of hanwoo by mentioning Black Angus, one of the best grades of beef in the U.S., and Japan’s wagyu and Kobe beef.
Briefly introducing hanwoo’s historical background, breeding environment and recognition in Korea, the article called the beef, fed with a special mix from every farm, as a top-grade meat combined with the advantages of both American and Japanese beef.
Sandy Keung, a chef at the fusion and seafood restaurant Table in Hong Kong, said, “Hanwoo has a very attractive flavor,” adding that the meat strikes a balance between the beefy and lean flavor of American steaks and the fatty flavor full of Japanese wagyu full of marbling.
She said, “You need both fat and protein to achieve a steak that’s as tender and beefy as Hanwoo.”
Chef Judy Joo, the host of the U.S. Food Network show “Korean Food Made Simple,” said, “Every farmer has their own special mix — some use beer, some use fermented pine needles, barley, rice and mixed whole grains.”
“Alcohol-fermented feed of some kind is popular as it is full of probiotics and naturally keeps the cattle healthy,” she added. “The alcohol also keeps the meat tender and fatty.”
Springer wrapped up her article by not forgetting to recommend several restaurants in Korea famous for hanwoo.