kimjang (김장)

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It's late fall! Which also means "kimjang" making season in Korea:) And just last weekend, together with my in-laws, I, once again, befriended tons of cabbages during our kimjang session :)


"Kimjang" is the kimchi people traditionally make to last through the winter (or for others, like Asul's family, to last for one year:)


It was Saturday when my SIL and her husband drove to Buyeo, a county in South Chungcheong province, to harvest the cabbages and other vegetables (yup! they grew those themselves! they just started this year.) we would be using to make kimchi. I wasn't aware that they were actually growing some crops there cos I thought they just go to Buyeo to visit the house they bought. Until last Saturday! Boy, was I surprised to see a small truck load of plastic bags stuffed with veggies!


The pictures below were from last year... my first kimjang session... on my birthday! :)



Normally, there should at least be 100 cabbages to prepare but there can be more depending on the number of family members. In our case, 3 families share the kimjang and SIL prefers them to last for a year, so there should be A LOT. These cabbages were cut, washed and soaked in salted water for like 6-7 hours. They were washed again afterwards.



This was the sauce (made by SIL) which was a mixture of garlic, onion, ginger, scallions, radish, pickled shrimp paste, chili powder, starch syrup, rice powder, soy sauce... etc.. I can't remember now the other things she added and people do have their own recipe anyway. Depending on their taste. By the way, this small basin was just the tip of the iceberg!lol SIL mixed the the sauce in a humongous basin that you can use like a bathtub:)



And now, we had to spread the sauce in EACH leaf of the cabbage! Last weekend, there were a lot of hands to do the job (I didn't even have to pitch in! Two of my SIL's and one of their friends were there) I just helped squeeze the excess water from the cabbage unlike last year when I was all this bloody.LOL


And then, each cabbage was carefully placed in a container.. which would be kept in the kimchi refrigerator. I think we filled more than twenty containers!

We were done within a day! It was faster than I expected. And I admire how the whole family all worked together to finish the job. It was definitely not an easy task and I saw these people's passion and love for what they were doing.

I love being a part of it :)

3 comments:

Cher@Surviving Korea

wow!no experience doing kimjang yet.....my MIL is not that active when it comes to kimjang she always waits until her sisters and SILs finish everything then she gets our share..kkkk.....she's always late for the kimjang

jehan

no kimjang for us too. my husband's SIL gave us about 25 kilos of kimchi they made in jeollabukdo 2 weeks ago and i can't eat it because of the strong fish sauce (patis?) smell and taste. my lips and tongue itch. so i just made my own kimchi...haha...

phoebe

@ cher- oh,you should try! mas ma-appreciate mong kumain ng kimchii!hahaha

@jehan- i wanna try making my own kimchi,too! :)

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