Food | Feb 16

Exploring the Future of Food

TOKYO, Feb 16 (News On Japan) - The latest gourmet offerings set to hit supermarkets and convenience stores have been showcased at the 58th "Supermarket Trade Show."

Han River Ramen: A Staple Among Korean Youth

Ayako Uemura, the presenter, highlights the 58th "Supermarket Trade Show," where 2,000 domestic and 93 international companies and organizations have gathered. The first trend spotted is the "Han River Ramen," increasingly becoming a staple among Korean youth. The Han River flows through the heart of Seoul and is a popular spot for picnics and dates. Ramen eaten by the river has gained attention through dramas and has become a food trend among the youth.

The popularity of Han River Ramen is partly due to the presence of "instant noodle automatic cooking machines" at convenience stores around the Han River. These machines are almost always found in the stores. Customers choose a bag of noodles, purchase it at the register, and then put the contents into a provided container. The machine then adds hot water and counts down to completion. While there are eat-in spaces in convenience stores, eating ramen outside in the cold is particularly popular.

In Korea, "ramen convenience stores" that operate 24/7 have also emerged. These unmanned stores feature automatic cooking machines and offer around 50 varieties of instant ramen, with free toppings like green onions, kimchi, cheese, and bean sprouts. The demand for contactless options during the pandemic has led to the installation of these machines in cafeterias and employee dining halls, with around 2,000 locations now in operation and about 30,000 machines in use.

K-Pasta: Instant Italian from Korea

Another trend candidate is "K-Pasta." Since July 2023, "Tengle" has been launched in Korea and North America, available in Bulgogi Cream and Kimchi Rosé flavors. The restaurant-quality, chewy pasta has become popular for its convenience. The cooking process involves adding water to a frying pan, letting the noodles absorb it, and boiling for about 5 minutes.

Source: TBS


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