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 vegan and gluten-free because the mission of Broth and Stone is to spread kimchi love to everyone, regardless of their diet or alergies. We even make water kimchi, which is not spicy at all.

Who and what is Kim?

Well here is it Kim Jensen, your kimchi maker and sewing guru (so she's been told a million times;) Kim is ALSO the most common surname in Korea, 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 The first historical document that records Kim in the year 636 references it as the surname of the Korean king, Jinhung (526-576).

 

BUT, it's ALSO seaweed, like in Kimbop – the Korean sushi roll.

 

Iso we have established it's my name. Well a lot can come with a name... Funny side – when I lived in Greece I would introduce myself as Kim, and EVERYONE would say this back to me “Ahhhh, Kim BA-Ssinger!”,  and I mean EVERYONE! And with a passion that was amazing. It was funny when it kept on happening, it never got old to me- Fast forward to my time living and studying in South Korea, there I would introduce myself as Kim, and EVERYONE would smile and say, "Kim, that's a Korean name!", often I was pulled in for a hug by complete strangers which is uncommon in the introduction-centered culture. The sharing of our name became a sweet part of my Korean experience. And there’s more, apparently my name, Kim Jensen, is essentially John Smith;)

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 (see the Our Story page). Hanbok was worn daily up until just 100 years ago. Today, it is reserved for special occasions and formal events.

 

Enjoy 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 an artisian-made, small-batch vegan and gluten-free version of the Korean staple. Our kimchi is vegan and gluten-free so everyone, regardless of their diet or alergies, can enjoy the nutrition and health benefits of this ancient superfood. We even make a "water" kimchi, which is not spicy at all. We got you.

Why two hands?

In Korea, people give and receive with two hands. This gesture brings us whole to the task. It's lovely. I loved when this was standard in my life when I was in school in Seoul. Try it at your own table with your family and friends, it's fun when everyone does it, you'll see. Oh, and NEVER pour your own anything. Serve each other this way.

The beauty of "Our"

When I was studying Korean 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.  In the world of iPhones and iWatches this style of speaking creates community and togetherness, quite naturally.

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 Seoul many years ago, I found myself pushing open a wooden gate of a beautiful Buddhist center. I was welcomed by a monk who served me tea for hours and introduced me to many lovely people there. This was my first experience with tea in this way, it was far from the microwaved water and tea bag I had known from childhood. It was elegant in its simplicity, quiet, and all-consuming. 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.