Go Columbia

At Columbia’s Korean Festival, it’s all about the food

Soonja Jeon and the Fan Dancers perform during the annual Korean festival. The Eighth Annual Korean Fall Festival was held Saturday at the Korean Community Presbyterian Church. The festival celebrates Korean culture and heritage through dance, traditional clothing and food.
Soonja Jeon and the Fan Dancers perform during the annual Korean festival. The Eighth Annual Korean Fall Festival was held Saturday at the Korean Community Presbyterian Church. The festival celebrates Korean culture and heritage through dance, traditional clothing and food. The State

For more than a decade, Columbia’s Korean Festival has shared Korean culture through dance, fashion, music, games and food.

Lots of food. Mouth-watering, flavor rich, delicious food.

“There are a lot of draws for the Korean Festival,” said Brian Shelton, who will help emcee the Saturday, Oct. 29 event for the Korean Presbyterian Church. “But the food is one of the major draws.”

Korean cuisine is largely based on rice, vegetables and meats. Traditional Korean meals are noted for the number of side dishes that accompany steam-cooked short-grain rice. Steamed vegetables and cucumber salad are served with several dishes at the festival.

Kimchi is almost always served at every meal and will be available at the festival.

While Korean food is often spicy, the food at the festival won’t be.

“Nothing is overly spicy,” Shelton said. “Nothing is too hot for people who don’t like spicy food.”

Shelton had never tried Korean food until he met his wife, Sue, in 1990. He quickly became a fan.

Hungry yet? Here is a list of food that will be available at the upcoming festival:

Bulgogi: grilled thin slices of beef ribeye marinated with homemade barbecue sauce

Spicy pork: grilled thin slice of pork tenderloin marinated with homemade spicy sauce

Chicken kebab: marinated teriyaki chicken

Hoddeok: doughy pancake filled with brown sugar

Korean style spicy chicken wings: fried chicken wings in spicy sauce

Kanpongki: fried pork in sweet, sour and spicy sauce

Dokpogi: rice sticks in spicy red sauce

Kimchi: traditional fermented spicy Korean dish made of vegetables with varied seasonings

Udon: thick wheat flour noodle served hot as a noodle soup made of dashi (soup or cooking stock used in Japanese cuisine), soy sauce and mirin (condiment used in Japanese cuisine, a type of rice wine similar to sake, but with a lower alcohol content and higher sugar content)

Kimbab: rice and vegetables in roll of seaweed

King Mandoo: steamed large dumplings

Mandoo: fried dumplings

Kimchi pancake: Korean style pancake made with fermented spiced vegetables

The festival started in 2005, steadily growing since. Last year, more than 4,000 people attended.

Proceeds are donated to local charities. Last year, $12,000 was divided among Harvest Hope Food Bank, Oliver Gospel Mission, Thornwell Home for Children, Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina, Richland County Sheriff’s Foundation and Columbia Police Department.

And, not surprisingly, the food was responsible for a big part of the festival’s success.

If you go

Korean Festival

WHEN: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29

WHERE: Korean Community Presbyterian Church, 1412 Richland St.

COST: Free admission; items available for purchase

INFO: www.koreanfestival.co

  Comments