KIMCHI 101

What is Kimchi?

Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine made of salted and fermented vegetables, such as napa cabbage and Korean radish. Our kimchi is special because it is vegan and gluten-free.

Who and what is Kim?

Well here "Kim" stands for Kim Jensen, me, your kimchi maker and sewing teacher. "Kim" is ALSO the most common surname in Korea, and it means "gold" or "iron". The first historical document that records Kim in the year 636 references it as the surname of the Korean king, Kim Jinhung (526-576).

 

ALSO "Kim" can mean seaweed, like in Kimbop – the Korean sushi roll.

What is a Hanbok?

The hanbok is the traditional dress of Korea. It consists of the jeogori (a wrap top) and the chima (a long, high-waisted skirt) for women, and the baji (the pants) for men. While hanboks are often colorful, it is the subdued grey, blue, and brown linen style that began the Broth and Stone journey twenty years ago. The Handbook is what brought me to Korea, but I left with a lot of stories and a slight obsession for kimchi:) Hanbok was worn daily up until just 100 years ago. Today, it is reserved for special occasions and formal events.

 

Enjoy this online gallery experience:

Hanbok: An introduction to South Korea’s National Dress on the Culture Trip website.

 

What is Bap?

Bap is steamed rice,  it is the staple of traditional Korean meals, and is also considered the main dish. There are many kinds of bop depending on the ingredients used such as Huinbap (cooked white rice), Ogokbap (five grain rice), Bibimbop (rice mixed with vegetables and a protein), and Kimbop (the popular Korean sushi roll). 

What is the Korean Rainbow?

 

Have you ever noticed the rainbow in Korean cuisine? The colors are blue, yellow, white, red, and black and they each have meaning. From the naturally died rice cakes to the repeat colors of fresh ingredients in a traditional Korean hotpot - the rainbow is everywhere. Beyond food, you see these colors in Hanboks, painted temples, and ceremonies.

 

Visit a virtual exhibit on the Korean rainbow by The Folk Museum of Korea. 

What is a Hanok?

A hanok is a traditional Korean house. Hanoks were first designed and built in the 14th century during the Joseon Dynasty. Hanoks are beautiful, simple, and multi-functional. Sadly, after the devastation of the Korean War, many historical hanoks were demolished to make way for new housing.

 

If you would like to stay in a Hanok and experience traditional Korean living right in the heart of Seoul, visit Rakkojae Seoul.

What is Kim's Kimchi?

Kim's Kimchi is a small-batch, vegan, and gluten-free version of the traditional Korean staple. Traditionally kimchi is made with fish sauce, and/or salted shrimp or oyster. Our mission to make Korean food accessible to everyone, regardless of their diet or allergies means we swap some ingredients to make this happen. For example, we use Tamari in place of Soy Sauce to make our dishes and sauces gluten-free. This way all can enjoy this ancient superfood!

Why two hands?

In Korea, everyone gives and receives with two hands. This gesture brings us whole to the task. It's really lovely. I miss this being a standard in my life - back when I was studying in Seoul. 

 

Try it at your own table with your family and friends, it's fun when everyone does it, you'll see. And super special, it kinda slows everything down to the present. Oh, and NEVER pour your own anything, that is a big no-no. Instead, serve each other all night long and see how nice it is. 

The beauty of "Our"

When I was studying at Sogang University in Seoul, I especially loved this phrase  “Uri eomeoni”. It translates to “Our mother” and while one may be speaking about their own mother, the use of “our” is used instead.

 

This unique and versatile expression seemed to illustrate the sweet oneness of the people of Korea. The phrase “uri” is mostly used in these instances: our country, our home, our school, our family, our mother/father, and our wife/husband.  

More than a cup of tea…

 

The Korean Tea Ceremony or darye is a traditional form of tea ceremony practiced in Korea and it is more than 1,000 years old. The beauty of the Korean tea ceremony is the elegant process of brewing tea and creating a space for enjoyment and harmony.

 

Bumbling around one day in Seoul I pushed open an ancient wooden gate to see a magical buddhist temple, in the center of downtown practically. I was speechless at what lied beyond the gate. I was welcomed immediately by a monk who kindly invited me in for tea. We sat for hours drinking all kinds of tea, each had a story. This was my first experience with tea in this way, it was elegant in its simplicity, totally quiet, and slow. Everything disappeared except for the tea that afternoon and I walked home on air, or so it seemed.

What is Pojagi?

Pojagi is an ancient Korean textile art form. The first documented mention of it was in AD 42, so it is about 2,000 years old – much older than western quilting. A pojagi (po) is a cloth that is used to wrap, carry and store things. Traditionally, they are square and the smallest measure about 14 inches, but they went up to ten times that size. These Mondrian-like quilts are made by hand from stiff linen called Rami, and they have no exposed seams. They are magnificent hanging in the sunlight. Do you want to learn how to make Pojagi? Sign up for our outdoor workshops happening in the spring – this meditative crafting can be done regardless of sewing experience - and the result is a keepsake for life.