Koreans eat kimchi in every meal. Kimchi is the traditional Korean side dish of salted and fermented vegetables. If you travel to Korea and go to a Korean restaurant, your order will be served with kimchi. Kimchi is not only healthy in that it’s fermented, but also it goes well with most Korean food and ramyun noodles. Today, I’ll introduce a kimchi making experience in Jeonju Hanok Village.
I’m looking forward to the handmade kimchi!
The kimchi making experience is held at Sinbangi. The owner of this venue is famous for kimchi making This venue is known for kimchi kongnamul gukbap (bean sprouts soup with rice), which is a typical hearty homemade dish for Koreans.
For the kimchi making experience, some tables are equipped with sink.
Salting napa cabbages is the crucial first step of kimchi making. One must use quality salt and wash napa cabbages at the right moment.
The salted napa cabbages and kimchi seasonings are provided by the venue. It’s necessary to book the experience in advance because the venue prepares the ingredients in the early morning market.
I only needed to wear gloves and mix the seasonings with the salted napa cabbage.
The ingredients are carefully measured in advance.
I started applying the seasonings on the napa cabbage’s outer leaves first. It’s said that the seasonings should be applied on the napa cabbage with a stamping movement with the fingertips. The white stem part of the napa cabbage is thicker so it needs extra seasonings. The convenor of the experience said the warmth of the hands and the yearning to make delicious kimchi are also crucial.
The napa cabbage turns redder as I continue applying the seasoning on the napa cabbage. The salinity of the napa cabbage should be somewhat similar everywhere for the optimal fermentation to occur.
I tried the freshly made kimchi to check its flavor and its salinity was just right and delicious.
I continued this process. After seasoning is done, the napa cabbage is carefully wrapped with a leaf and placed inside a container.
Seeing the fresh kimchi in the container made me feel very glad. I couldn’t wait to try this with a freshly cooked rice!
After the kimchi making experience, I felt like a bowl of bibimbap. Sinbangi’s bibimbap uses homemade sour gochujang (red chili pepper paste) to enhance flavor without using any artificial seasonings.
I had beef bibimbap. The bibimbap made with colorful and flavorsome ingredients were served in a brassware.
I mixed the ingredients first. From the first bite, I loved the harmony of different sour, salty, sweet, spicy, and bitter flavors in my mouth.
The bibimbap went very well with moju (rice wine based beverage with herbs and spices), Jeonju’s another specialty.
The kimchi making experience is particularly interesting, because it’s run by a ‘kimchi master’ Ahn Myung-Ja who researches and promotes kimchi. If you want to try making kimchi while you’re visiting Jeonju, you should consider this venue!
Sinbaengi Kimchi Experience
Address: Gyeonggijeon-gil 153-9, Wansan-gu, Jeonju
Price: 80,000 won for 10kgs of napa cabbage (subject to change per the price of agricultural products)