The Evolution of Bulgogi over the Past 100 Years

(Vol.53. No.4 Winter, 2013 pp.168~194)
LEE Kyou Jin , CHO Mi Sook
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The purpose of this research is to examine the history of bulgogi’s transition and development over the past century. While bulgogi carries on the legacy of Korean traditional roasted meat, it is simultaneously a very unique cuisine, of which the recipe and meaning have changed over time according to shifting economic and social conditions. As a result, bulgogi is not merely a simple dish; rather, the term embodies numerous symbolic meanings of Korean food culture. The origin of this seasoned roast meat can be traced back to the Goguryeo dynasty (37 BC–AD 668). In different historical periods and social contexts, bulgogi has gone through unusual and dynamic transitions of cooking methods, such as roasting and boiling. One of its first transitional periods (1920s–1960s) is marked by the use of grilled beef that originates from neobiani and the commercialized cooking process of roasting. During the developmental phase of bulgogi (1960s–1990s), bulgogi boiled in meat broth appeared, quickly gaining popularity. The phase of decline in bulgogi consumption and popularity was followed by the revival of bulgogi (after the 1990s), when it was adapted through various cooking methods.
Keywords: grilled bulgogi, beef broth bulgogi, neobiani, roast meat, Korean food
Types: Articles
Subject: Cultural and ethnic studies , Folklore
About the author(s) LEE Kyou Jin is Lecturer at Gachon University. E-mail: aroma711@naver.com.

CHO Mi Sook is Professor in the Department of Nutrition Science and Food Management
at Ewha Womans University. E-mail: misocho@ewha.ac.kr.