All about the Gimjang (kimchi-making) tradition

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All about the Gimjang (kimchi-making) tradition

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Kimchi is already considered as an integral part of Korean identity. Koreans value kimchi so much that it does not come as a surprise anymore that there’s a specific ceremony dedicated to its preparation.

What is gimjang?

Gimjang refers to the lengthy process of preparing kimchi, a tradition that stems from the old days when villagers and other people from communities would gather together to prepare kimchi just before wintertime comes. The vegetables back then that are needed to prepare kimchi are seasonal and not really available year-round, so people always planned ahead in terms of gathering all the necessary ingredients so that the kimchi that they produced would last them throughout the entire winter season. Although fresh vegetables and even kimchi itself are now cultivated to be made available all throughout the year, this still has not stopped Koreans from partaking in gimjang.

The preparation

One of the reasons why gimjang is celebrated is to highlight the hard work that the people who are involved in the process invest in producing the best-tasting kimchi. Gathering all the required ingredients is tough, but ensuring that the proportion of each ingredient is just right is even more challenging. We are not even mentioning here the possibility that the weather might not cooperate. Anyway, kimchi’s usual ingredients of cabbage, radish, mustard leaves, spring onions, ginger, chili pepper power, seafood like shrimp and anchovies, and garlic are the usual items that must be prepared.

The process

The enjoyable part of gimjang is the point when everyone is just involved in every step of the process, from harvesting to slicing other ingredients. It is a collective effort! Families who will take part in gimjang will usually harvest around thirty cabbages, wash them, and put all of them in a saline solution so that the cabbages will lose their crispiness. The rest of the ingredients will be chopped and sliced, particularly the mustard leaves and spring onions. Seasoning will also be added to further enhance the flavor.

There are various opportunities to participate in gimjang, most especially when you’re in Korea. We recommend that you participate in one and then you let us know how your experience went!

Korean BBQ Online is ready to deliver fresh and delicious kimchi straight to your doorstep. Contact us today so we can serve you today!

Easy-Peasy Kimchi Recipe

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Easy-Peasy Kimchi Recipe

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We already know what kimchi is – it’s the ultimate and most ubiquitous side of dish of Korea. As they say, a Korean meal is not complete if there is no generous serving of kimchi on the side. We also revealed in another article that kimchi is so distinctly embedded in Korean culture that Koreans even buy a separate fridge just for it!

There are a lot of kimchi varieties out there (and you can make your own version of kimchi as well), but the recipe below is for your typical pungent and tasty napa cabbage kimchi. You might actually be surprised as to how easy it is to make your own kimchi at home. Let’s get started!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 head napa cabbage (baechu, Chinese cabbage, wombok)
  • ½ onion, thin sliced
  • ¼ carrot, thin julienne
  • ¼ Korean radish (muwoo), thin julienne
  • 4 green onions (spring onions), cut into 3-cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • ½ cup go choo ga roo (Korean chili powder)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ cup sea salt (or any coarse salt)
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup jeot gal (Korean fish sauce)

PROCEDURE

  1. Quarter the napa cabbage, wash and drain.
  2. Mix ½ cup sea salt (or any coarse salt) and 1 cup water.
  3. Put cabbages in a salted water and take out one at a time to get salt down.
  4. In a container, add cabbages and pour salted water, set aside for at least 6–8 hours (overnight will be great).
  5. The cabbage should be soft enough to bend.
  6. Wash, drain well.
  7. Mix together ½ cup go choo ga roo (Korean chili powder), 2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp sugar, ¼ cup jeot gal (Korean fish sauce), 2 tbsp minced garlic, and 1 tsp minced ginger.
  8. Mix in vegetables to the chilli powder mixture.
  9. Take one cabbage, stuff in above mixture to every layer. Try to fold in half. (must)
  10. With 2 outer leaves, wrap the whole thing securely.
  11. Put it in a airtight container.
  12. Let it sit on a kitchen counter for overnight.
  13. Put in a refrigerator for 2–3 days. (optional)
  14. Serve with rice. (optional)

Source of recipe: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Kimchi

The recipe above is so easy to make, but if in case you don’t have the time to make your own kimchi, the Korean BBQ Online has your back. We deliver the best-quality kimchi that you will ever taste straight to your doorstep. Give us a try today!

5 Korean side dishes for the health-conscious

5 Korean side dishes for the health-conscious

It’s impossible to enjoy a Korean BBQ meal without the presence of a diverse range of mouth-watering side dishes. These sides are just perfect to provide balance to a typically meat-heavy Korean BBQ feast. However, there are some side dishes that are way healthier than others given the way they are cooked and the ingredients that are involved in each dish. For today’s article we decided to give you a rundown of some of the healthiest Korean side dishes that you can order or even prepare yourself. Trust us: your body will thank you for eating these sides!

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1. Kimchi

The most well-known Korean side dish that is served in almost every Korean meal is actually teeming with good bacteria due to its fermented nature. These good bacteria promote healthy digestion, strong immune system, and improved cardiovascular health. Kimchi is also rich in anti-oxidants, and we all know what that means: anti-cancer! It helps your body in eliminating free radicals and unwanted toxins. Kimchi may be pungent, but I hope these benefits will encourage you to munch more of it!

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2. Saengchae

This radish salad is also a big hit among Korean foodies because of its perfect sweet-spicy-salty combination and its flavourful lightness. Radish is also rich in fibre that helps in body detoxification and promotes healthy metabolism. Eating a generous serving of saengchae is also reported to help in one’s weight loss, improve skin conditions, and prevent urinary tract disorders. Such a healthy yum!

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3. Kongnamul muchim

What can you expect from this mineral-rich soybean sprouts salad? Well, you will get a healthy dose of Vitamin C that is necessary for your body to eliminate free radicals, folate to keep your blood healthy and free from blood diseases like anemia, and also a decent amount of protein, fibre and carbohydrates. And did we mention that it can get pretty addicting eating this healthy side dish?

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4. Hobak namul

This zucchini salad might be typically spicy, but it is loaded with nutritional benefits that should convince you to endure its spiciness. Zucchinis are good for your eyes and can boost your Vitamin C levels in your body. This vegetable has even been reported to alleviate or even cure asthma!

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5. Gaji namul

If you love eating eggplants, then this side dish, which is usually served with healthy, flavourful herbs, is going to be your jam. Its arsenal of fibre, manganese, Vitamin B6, potassium, folate and a lot more nutrients and minerals will keep your heart healthy, weight in check, and blood in tip-top condition.

Korean BBQ Online is always up and running to serve you by delivering the best-tasting meats and sides for your Korean BBQ feasts. Drop us a line today!

 

5 Yummy Kimchi Leftover Creations

5 Yummy Kimchi Leftover Creations

Kimchi is one side dish that Koreans just can’t get enough of in almost any Korean meal. The great flavour it adds is just undeniable that an authentic Korean dining experience is not complete without a reasonable serving of kimchi. But don’t you know that you can actually whip up more awesomely tasting dishes using your kimchi leftovers? So before you throw that bottle of kimchi away, read first our list of 5 yummy kichi leftover creations below and see for yourself how deliciously versatile kimchi can be:

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1. Kimchi Bokkeumbap (Fried Rice)

This is one of the easiest kimchi leftover dishes to make that’s great for breakfast, lunch and even dinner. All you need to have are your kimchi, rice, and your meat of choice (you can experiment with bacon, ham, pork or even chicken). Feel free to add an egg and also some vegetables on the side to make it a balanced meal. This dish emphasizes the point that making delicious dishes in Korean cuisine doesn’t have to be complicated.

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2. Kimchi Jigae

This spicy dish is just perfect to heat up your body during the winter season, although kimchi stews can also be eaten anytime. The spiciness of the leftover kimchi just blends well with this dish’s flavourful broth and savoury chunks of meat. You can also add some zucchinis, mushrooms, potatoes and other vegetables that you prefer to diversify the overall taste.

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3. Dubu Kimchi (Tofu and Sauteed Kimchi)

This light dish tastes so balanced because the strong flavours of the leftover kimchi are neutralized by the soft yet tasty texture of the tofu. If you want a quick afternoon snack fix that won’t even take so much of your time, then this dish is for you. Don’t forget to put some sesame seeds to add more crunch and also some sugar to add some sweetness into the dish depending on your preference.

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4. Kimchi Jun (Pancake)

Kimchi pancakes can be your perfect side, appetizer or even snack. As always, you can experiment by adding your preferred meat and vegetables of your choice into the pancake batter so you can create great-tasting kimchi pancake slices. Make sure that the pancake slices are golden brown and that you serve some soy sauce (or some spicy sauce) on the side to further enrich the flavour.

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5. Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Kimchi

Kimchi itself is already a healthy side dish on its own, but you can even make it healthier by pairing it with brussels sprouts. You can also add some bacon, ham, chicken, or even some seafood into the mix to diversify the flavours and so that this dish will appeal to both lovers of meat and vegetables. It is recommended that you use extra virgin olive oil in stir-frying the Brussels sprouts and kimchi for better flavour.

We are so sure that you are excited to try doing these kimchi leftover creations. Feel free to share your own kimchi leftover recipes down on the comments section below. And of course, Korean BBQ Online is always here to fulfil your kimchi cravings. Drop us a line today so we can start delivering kimchi to your doorstep.

5 Korean customs to know before you visit Korea

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5 Korean customs to know before you visit Korea

So you already have your flights booked and just beyond excited to finally see Korea in person. You are perhaps planning to stay longer than usual to experience more of what Korea has to genuinely offer. That said, how familiar are you with some of the Korean customs? If you need some catching up to do on the way of life in Korea, then here’s a brief article to help you out just before you embark on your Korean adventure:

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1. Kimchi is everywhere

Kimchi is such an integral part of Korean identity that you will see it in almost every meal. It’s nutritious and balanced, but its taste can be too pungent and spicy for some. How about you try some kimchi before flying to Korea so you can see for yourself if it is for you or not? It will definitely take some time to get used to the taste for some people at least.

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2. Shoes off

Koreans are very particular about cleanliness so as expected in almost all Asian homes, you need to take off your shoes before entering. You don’t really want to bring in some dust, soil and other outside dirt that accumulated under your shoes into the house of your host, do you? Taking off one’s shoes is also a sign of respect to the owner of the household.

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3. Soju

Just like kimchi, soju is such a big part of Korean lifestyle and is also a globally known drink. Feel free to socialize with the locals and sing your hearts out in a karaoke bar while enjoying bottles of this beloved Korean alcohol. Also, do not forget to hold your glass with both hands when someone is pouring soju for you as a sign of respect.

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4. Rice

Rice is present on almost all Asian dining tables, including those of Koreans. Those who are not used to eating rice a lot will definitely find other alternatives, but consider this as a fair warning that rice will almost always served to you once you are in Korea.

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5. No excuse me?

Korea is a very large country and its major cities can be very crowded and fast-paced. It can be very surprising at first to see people just pushing their way into trains and buses without even saying “excuse me” for example, but that’s just one of those things that you need to accept about Korea so you can thrive.

What other Korean customs and traditions that you would like to share with people before they visit Korea? Share them all in the comments section below. Meanwhile, Korean BBQ Online believes that everyone should have the chance to try the delightful and fun experience of Korean Barbeque. Contact us today!

5 Korean rice dishes that you’ll surely love

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5 Korean rice dishes that you’ll surely love

It should not come as a surprise anymore that Korea, being an Asian country, is fond of rice. Rice is almost a part of every Korean meal given its versatility to blend well with various meats and vegetables. The wide range of Korean cuisine features a long list of rice dishes that will most likely be a part of your diet soon. Here are our top 5 Korean rice dishes that you will not be able to forget:

1. Bibimbap

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You can never call yourself a Korean foodie unless you have tried bibimbap, which is often considered as Korea’s national rice dish. Bibimbap is a bowl of rice topped with egg and various vegetables. If you are planning to make your own bowl of bibimbap at home, then the vegetables that you put on top is completely up to you. However, you will usually see bean sprouts, carrots, spinach, chestnuts, gosari, and bell pepper, among others, in a typical bowl of bibimbap. Chili paste is also served on the side if you want to give the taste of your bibimbap more kick. If ever you will eat in a restaurant, then you will sometimes see a bowl of bibimbap with all the vegetables already mixed in or the vegetables served separately.

 

2. Omeuraiseu

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Another Korean rice dish that is very common and easy to make is Omeuraiseu! The Korean word is abbreviated from the English words Omelette and Rice and is the korean intepretation of the humble English omelette. A paper thin egg layer rests upon a mountain of delicious fried rice. Often topped off with a splashing of tomato sauce, this is a nostalgic comfort food for most Koreans, and one very delicious meal!

 

3. Dolsot Bibimbap

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Dolsot Bibimbap is almost similar to your regular bibimbap because it also features mixed vegetables on top of rice. The difference between the two is that Dolsot is served on a hot crock whereas a regular bibimbap is served on a cool bowl. Dolsot also has more ingredients that a typical bibimbap. Given the variety of ingredients featured in this rice dish, it is then important for the rice and the ingredients to be mixed well. Do not forget to pour some hot water on the crock to remove the rice that got stuck on the sides so you can still eat them.

 

4. Gimbap (Korean sushi)

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Gimbap (or Kimbap) is a seaweed-wrapped rice roll that is widely available and distributed in Korea. If you want a cheap yet nutritious Korean dish, then gimbap should be one of your top picks. It is also very easy to make: you spread some cooked rice over a square piece of gim and then you add a variety of meats and vegetables on top. Typically, gimbap has cucumber, spinach, carrots, crab meat, and sausage among others, but you can certainly experiment on some ingredients to make your own version of these savoury rice rolls.

5. Kimchi Bokkeumbap

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Don’t throw away that Korean kimchi just yet because you can still use them in making the Kimchi Bokkeumbap. Just fry that kimchi and add it, together with some vegetables and meat of your choice, on your steamed rice. Putting some fried egg into your bokkeumbap will also do some wonders. This dish is so easy to make that a lot of people who are on a tight budget prefer to enjoy this rice dish.

 

Are there any Korean rich dishes that you would like our readers to try? Comment below so we can check them out! And if ever you’re considering to host a Korean BBQ party anytime soon or you just want to stock on some meats for the future rice dishes you are going to create, then do not forget to contact us. Cheers!

7 things you never knew about Kimchi

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7 things you never knew about Kimchi

A talk about Korean cuisine will never be complete without mentioning kimchi. For Koreans, kimchi is not just your ordinary side dish of sliced cabbage, red chili, radish, garlic, ginger, anchovy paste and scallions. Kimchi is actually a national symbol of Koreans’ strong and passionate character, owing to the dish’s sour and spicy taste. Not a lot of people prefer eating kimchi because of its strong taste, but Koreans certainly appreciate foreigners who have the guts to finish a plate of it.

We know that some of you are not that yet familiar with kimchi, so don’t worry because we’ve done some research for you. Impress your Korean friends with the following interesting facts about kimchi:

 

1. Kimchi has a lot of varieties

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If you’ve always thought that kimchi is always made out of cabbage, then allow us to enlighten you. Kimchi actually has over a hundred versions that feature a whole lot of main ingredients. Some kimchis are made out of cucumber, bossam, and radish, among others. And just to clarify, the word kimchi itself actually refers to the process of vegetable fermentation and not on kimchi’s ingredients themselves.

 

2. It’s regional and seasonal

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Koreans eat different varieties of kimchi depending on the season. If it’s winter time, then the most popular kimchi variety being consumed is radish water. The more common cabbage kimchi is consumed more during the fall, cucumber is eaten more during the summer, and green onions during spring. And as Korea is a vast country, its regions also feature different varieties of kimchi where the strength of the flavors and ingredients generally differ.

 

3. Kimchi can knock out major diseases

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Kimchi is actually a very healthy side dish that is packed with antioxidants, important vitamins, and good bacteria. Some credible research has shown that eating kimchi can help strengthen one’s immune system to prevent the human body from contracting bird flu and some forms of cancer. Some even say that kimchi is so healthy it will lower your risk of having a heart attack and diabetes. Keep these in mind, folks, whenever you’re initially turned off by the smell of kimchi. This side dish is actually very good for your body!

 

4. No refrigerators = kimchi

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Kimchi came into existence because Koreans back in the day didn’t have refrigerators to preserve their vegetables. As a result, families gathered together and helped in the fermentation process, which involved cutting, mixing and salting of vegetables, so that they will have enough stock of vegetables to eat come winter time.

 

5. Separate refrigerator for kimchi

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As you may already know by now, kimchi is such a highly important dish to Koreans. But it might still surprise you that Koreans purchase a separate refrigerator for storing their kimchi. Back in the day, kimchi was just stored in underground clay pots to achieve the desired temperature to complete the fermentation and preservation process. Now, Koreans buy specially designed refrigerators for kimchi that can provide the exact temperature being achieved when stored in clay pots. It also makes sense to store kimchi in a different refrigerator so that its smell won’t affect those of other goods and produce like milk, fruits, vegetables, etc.

 

 6. Kimchi used to be not spicy

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Kimchi used to be not spicy as the red pepper didn’t get introduced to Koreans until the 1500s, and the Koreans didn’t get to add this as an ingredient to kimchi until the 1800s.

 

7. Kimchi has already reached the outer space!

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Yi So-Yeon became the first Korean astronaut to fly in space in 2008, and as you may have guessed, she brought some kimchi along with her to outer space. She even hosted a traditional kimchi dinner while she was up there! The Korean government spent millions of dollars for their space program, and included in this venture is the extensive research that was done to figure out how fermentation could be slowed down. Studies had also been conducted to determine how kimchi would behave in space and react to various outer space forces. 

 

Do you know any other interesting facts about kimchi? Share them all below. And if through this article you suddenly experienced some craving for Korean BBQ, then Korean BBQ Online has your back! Check out our menu and see how we can serve you today.