All about the Gimjang (kimchi-making) tradition


All about the Gimjang (kimchi-making) tradition



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!

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