Put Your Korean Themed Luncheon On The Map This Holiday Season
When the festive season descends upon us, there is a mad scramble to organise lavish luncheons and leisurely course meals to host family and friends during the holidays. And while you engage in all this socialising and merrymaking, the same old dinner offerings and wine pairings might feel stuffy. Across the globe, the holiday spirit is marked in multicultural ways, and you can always put a bit of an eclectic spin on your hosting game to throw such a party which blends cultures. Host a Korean themed luncheon this festive season and fill your dining table with the spicy, tangy and umami notes of a deliciously diverse cuisine that will be an absolute flavour explosion for your taste buds.
Korean food culture is immersed in celebrating kinship and togetherness, so a feast of this culinary calibre is perfect for the holidays when cooking is as much about enjoying a festive meal as about bringing folks together in a spirit of love and camaraderie. So, a delectable menu, some well-chosen beverages, small bowls and plates and a generally relaxed vibe is all you need to host a wonderful Korean luncheon during the holiday season.
Read on below for some handy hacks to effortlessly pull off this delectable repast:
Curate A Delicious Spread
While bibimbap and Korean fried chicken have to be on the plate at a luncheon featuring Korean cuisine, try and experiment with different flavours to serve a spread spanning a wide range of what this food culture offers. You can cook a bit of japchae, a sweet potato and noodle bowl and small servings of chicken with the spicy gochujang sauce. Toss some veggies too and top them with toasted sesame for a fine finish and of course, have some kimchi at hand. According to a feature in The New York Times, western flavours can also be imported into Korean cuisine to curate dishes like tiger prawn tacos or fried kimchi and Gruyère toasted sandwiches to thoroughly elevate the flavour profile of your dinner table.
Pair With Traditional Spirits
At a holiday feast, have in store a luxe collection of spirits and quality liqueurs that would complement the sweet, spicy and a slightly salty and tangy Korean meal. If you want your spirits to keep to the Korean theme, then opt for cocktails made using soju, a transparent liquor similar to vodka. The spirit is made from rice, barley and tapioca and is frequently sipped in social settings in Korean culture. You can also make other cocktails like a stunning gimlet with some delicious Tanqueray No. Ten Gin, or bring home a bottle of Korean makgeolli, a milky, white coloured rice wine traditionally served in small bowls. Also have herbal and aromatic teas at hand for those who prefer a non-alcoholic drink at lunch.
Festive Floral Decor
While you are planning the decor for a Korean do, one of the best ways is finding rustic options to dress up your tableware and barware with barks, stems and petals. You can serve food in small plates and delicate bowls and opt for a centrepiece made using whole fruits like cantaloupes, grapes and persimmons. Since you would be home hosting during the holidays, also light a couple of candles which radiate a soft glow and give your luncheon a cosier vibe.
When sending out invites, keep the dress code a little less stringent. Let your friends kit themselves out in jumpers and skirts, bandeau tops and shirts for a cheery, informal and vibrant feel. For those who want to embrace the Korean spirit, you can recommend a hanbok and a dainty fan to complete the outfit.
During the holidays, no one really wants to budge from their seats after enjoying a sumptuous lunch. At your themed party, you can set out fun games and activities like the yutnori, a traditional Korean board game played on a cloth or the five field koni which requires some serious thinking to enter into the opponent’s side of the board and move all your pieces strategically into their spots. You can also hand out party favours at the end such as a bottle of kimchi so guests can have a salty and sweet memory of a holiday well spent.