Trump was served beef with 360 year-old soy sauce in South Korea

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump, a known picky eater, was served grilled Korean beef with 360 year-old soy sauce at Tuesday's state dinner in South Korea
  • The menu was a matter of concern for Japan as it was set to feature shrimp from a group of islets that are claimed by both Tokyo and Seoul

President Donald Trump, a famously picky eater, was served grilled Korean beef with 360 year-old soy sauce at a Tuesday state dinner in South Korea.

One of the dishes on South Korea's state dinner for President Donald Trump: Pine mushroom rice in a stone pot, grilled Hanwoo (Korean beef) rib seasoned with a special sauce made with 360-year-old soy sauce.
South Korea's presidential office

It's not clear whether the U.S. leader, who is on a five-nation Asia tour, ate the fermented sauce, which is a delicacy in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

The full menu included:

  • Corn porridge served with fresh herbs and vegetable side dishes
  • Grilled sole from the South Korean island of Geoje with a Donggukjang, i.e. brown bean sauce, consomme
  • Pine mushroom rice in a stone pot accompanied by grilled Hanwoo (Korean beef) rib seasoned with a special sauce made with a 360-year-old soy sauce
  • Triple chocolate cake with raspberry vanilla sauce and Sujeonggwa (cinnamon punch) granita with dried persimmons

Trump has built an international reputation for his all-American food preferences, which include well-done steaks with ketchup. He reportedly dislikes raw fish and on the campaign trail, frequently consumed fast food in addition to Caesar salads and spaghetti. At a 2016 rally, Trump criticized the idea of state dinners, noting that they cost a fortune. "We should be eating a hamburger on a conference table," he said at the time.

Upon arriving in Tokyo for the first leg of his Asia tour, Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lunched on hamburgers and dined on Hokkaido scallops, lobster and Wagyu beef.

It's not yet known what the U.S. leader will eat in China, the next stop on his tour. On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said she could not reveal any menu details for the upcoming state visit to Beijing.

Trump meets South Korean President Moon Jae-in

There was a degree of political stress about one item set to be served at Trump's South Korea dinner.

Shrimp caught near disputed islets in the Sea of Japan, which are claimed by both Seoul and Tokyo, was on Tuesday's menu, South Korean officials told CNBC. That caused some consternation in the world's third-largest economy, with Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga voicing frustrated over the matter, Kyodo News said.

The presence of 88 year-old Lee Yong Soo at the state dinner was another topic of concern for Tokyo. Lee is a former "comfort woman," which is the term used for women forced into prostitution during Japan's occupation of Korea in World War II.

The historical issue is a major source of tension between Tokyo and Seoul. In January, Abe's administration said it would recall its ambassador to South Korea over a statue commemorating comfort women.