Last Saturday, the Hope Asian Perspective Association (HAPA) worked jointly with International Relations Club (IRC) to host a Korean barbeque at Tunnel Park. A favorite event for HAPA veterans and a great way to introduce newcomers, students were treated to Korean-Style pork belly, games and beautiful weather. IRC worked to maintain a shuttle service, transferring students from Martha Miller Center to Tunnel Park’s recreation area. It was here that HAPA prepared and served the Korean barbecue.
What made the Korean barbecue so fascinating is its subtle differences from western-style cookouts. On this occasion, the food served was Samgyeopsal, or grilled pork belly. Referred to as “threelayer meat” as its striped composition contains lean meat and fat, the meat must be cooked until brown so as to maintain a consistent flavor. The strips are cooked, cut into smaller pieces with kitchen scissors and served alongside lettuce and a variety of condiments. Noticeably, this includes doenjang soybean paste and seasoned sesame oil. Ideally, these condiments are all eaten with the pork and lettuce at once for a perfect traditional taste.
However, hungry participants seemed more than content to try out different combinations or ravish the meat as soon as they could get forks on it. One improvement that will be made for next year, according to the cooks, is a hotter grilling temperature and additional tinfoil for the meat to cook on. This is due to the large amount of tinfoil necessary for cooking samgyeopsal, as it produces a high volume of oil. After the dinner was finished, many guests ventured up and over the dune to take pictures on the overlook, as well as to make their way down to the beach. Shuttle service continued until 6:45 p.m., at which point some participants chose to leave separately with friends. Work on several fronts had been pulled together to make the evening possible.
While every member played a role, there are some noteworthy considerations. HAPA’s Natalie Weg and IRC’s Michelle Naingiria managed the email chain to get students involved. HAPA’s Grace Charnesky and IRC’s Hajin Jang managed logistics and food ordering. HAPA’s Ethan Yau provided member transportation so that IRC’s Manna Sakon could arrive early and designate a gazebo for use. Advisor Habeeb Awad supervised the project and provided crucial advice. This year’s barbecue was notably successful, bidding good fortune towards future events held by the groups.