All about the Gimjang (kimchi-making) tradition

gimjang6

All about the Gimjang (kimchi-making) tradition

gimjang6

Source

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!

All about Hanbok, Korea’s Traditional Costume

kpop

All about Hanbok, Korea’s Traditional Costume

kpop

Source

If you have already been to Korea, then you must have already seen some locals donning very colorful and visually appealing costumes. Chances are you might have already observed the hanbok tradition in action.

Hanbok is Korea’s traditional outfit and is often worn to celebrate special moments such as birthday parties, festivals and anniversaries. For instance, children celebrate their first birthdays wearing hanbok. Couples who get married also wear one, and also those who just turned 60. Even those who attend funerals to pay tribute to their loved ones who passed away also wear hanbok. Hanbok is indeed a big part of Koreans’ biggest life milestones. But did you know that back in the day, hanbok is actually worn daily? This explains why in some Korean provinces and villages, hanbok is even worn as a casual wear.

Traditional Koreans are usually seen wearing white hanbok or those with lighter tones. This explains why many people refer to Koreans as “people in white”. However, modern versions of hanbok can now be seen in various colors. In fact, the variety of colors that is present on a hanbok somehow symbolizes one’s social status. Usually, the brighter and more colorful hanbok is, the richer the person who is wearing it is. Now you can see more ultra-chic types of hanbok in the global fashion scene.

Koreans always have a strong connection with nature, so this explains why a lot of their traditional clothing are made out of natural materials such as silk and cotton. Designers of hanbok often favored curvy lines rather than straight ones on hanbok so that the body’s line will be more graciously emphasized. This is the reason why so many people are saying that hanbok looks so much better when it is worn by someone than when it is just left on a hanger.

What are your impressions of hanbok? Don’t hesitate to post some of your thoughts on the comments section below.

Bring an authentic taste of Korean cuisine to your home by hosting your own Korean BBQ party! Korean BBQ Online delivers fun, simple and amazingly tasty Korean BBQ just for you.

 

Guide to Korean Pojangmacha

pojangmacha

Guide to Korean Pojangmacha

pojangmacha

Source

Today we are going to feature pojangmacha, one of the iconic symbols of Korea’s undying love for food. It’s almost impossible for anyone to not see a pojangmacha in Korea for they are everywhere. Or perhaps you’ve seen some of them already in those Korean movies that you barely understood. Let’s get down to its basics, shall we?

Pojangmacha, or more popularly known as pocha, are outdoor tents that are commonly found along Korean streets and night markets that are set up to accommodate street food and drinking patrons. This Korean term, when translated to English, means covered wagons. Technically speaking, pochas are small eateries that sell a diverse range of Korean street food like kimbap, spicy race cakes, fried rice cake skewers, ice-cream filled waffles, tornado potatoes, and a whole lot more. The characteristics of a pocha almost resemble that of an American food truck if you would like a point of comparison.

There are two types of pocha: those that are set up during the daytime where most of the items being sold are snacks and those that are set up during the evening when most of the drinking sessions happen. The evening pochas are the perfect places to observe how the Koreans down their sojus and makollis, and also to join them for some chill drinking session with some savoury drinking snacks (anjus) on the side. Most of these evening pochas start appearing like mushrooms all throughout the city at around 8 PM or so and would remain in operation even until the wee hours of the morning.

How did the pojangmacha phenomenon start?

Pochas only started appearing in Korea after the country achieved its independence from Japan back in 1945. The set up of pochas back then was very simple – they are just small eateries by the roadside that serve cheap yet filling meals to ordinary workers. Pochas back in the day didn’t have chairs for their patrons because these small eateries were meant to be quick food stops. The owners of these roadside eateries eventually added chairs upon realizing that more and more people preferred to hang out at these eateries longer given the conversations that would usually happen among the patrons. The 1970s saw Korea experiencing a significant economic development, and this period provided the perfect time for pochas to exponentially flourish. The reason for pochas’ increased presence is to meet the demand for cheap yet tasty food, which generally came from the increasing number of workers from various corporations and companies. Pochas just became one of the chillest hang-out spots for a majority of Koreans after going through a long day’s worth of work.

Pojangmacha in modern Korea

There are over 4,000 pochas scattered all throughout Seoul alone. The visibility of pochas throughout the city is widespread considering that the Korean government continues to exert efforts to shut them down because of food and city cleanliness issues. Some of the owners of these pochas also don’t have legal permits to operate. But despite the crackdown efforts and discouraging measures being employed by the Korean government, a lot of locals and foreigners still consider pochas as a colorful part of Korean culture. As many people would say, you haven’t really experienced authentic Korean living until you’ve eaten under one of those colorful outdoor tents.

Have you ever experienced eating pojangmacha food? Tell us all about your experiences!

Meanwhile, if you are craving for some Korean BBQ, then let Korean BBQ Online serve you today. Just order your favourite Korean BBQ meats online and we’ll deliver them to you. Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

5 Korean customs to know before you visit Korea

kimchi

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:

kimchi

Source

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.

shoes off

Source

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.

soju

Source

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.

KoreanRice01

Source

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.

514977739-korean-seoul-sidewalk-urban-life

 

Source

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!