Internationals experience ‘Kimchi Challenge’

December 10, 2013
Team members take part in the “Kimchi Battle” at the Kimchi Cultural Center in Yeoksam-dong, Seoul, Saturday. (Courtesy of Pilar Perez)

Team members take part in the “Kimchi Battle” at the Kimchi Cultural Center in Yeoksam-dong, Seoul, Saturday. (Courtesy of Pilar Perez)

By John Redmond

Over 40 foreigners from different countries enjoyed a special event to make and share kimchi, Korea’s signature side dish of fermented spicy cabbage, at the Kimchi Cultural Center in Yeoksam-dong, Seoul, Saturday.

The event, the “Kimchi Challenge,” featured special guest kimchi master Lee Ha-yeon who briefly introduced participants to the history of kimchi. She demonstrated how to prepare baechu (Korean cabbage) kimchi.

The event was timed to celebrate UNESCO’s inclusion of kimjang (kimchi making and sharing) on its cultural heritage list.

The Kimchi Challenge was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, and supported by the Kimchi Association of Korea.

The ministry said that the event will encourage foreign residents in Korea to eat more kimchi, and to also prepare their own kimchi at home using baechu, and to integrate kimchi into their daily dishes and traditional cuisine.

“A way to support and promote UNESCO’s expected announcement confirming Korea’s nomination of kimjang as Korea’s ‘intangible cultural heritage,’ we wish to encourage foreign residents in Korea to not only eat more kimchi, but to also prepare their own kimchi at home and integrate it into their daily dishes and traditional cuisine. Talk about your experience with family and friends,” a ministry official said.

Teams representing the U.S., Canada, China, Latin America, Pakistan and Spain were selected for the “Kimchi Battle Challenge,” each preparing a traditional national dish from their own countries, but using kimchi as one of the ingredients.

Renee Cummins, a member of the Seoul International Women’s Association (SIWA), was the leader of the winning U.S. team, receiving the ministry award for her exciting combination of kimchi and peas in her own recipe “kimchi in the heart of Texas ― creole black-eyed peas.”

Participants enjoyed learning about kimchi, had fun taking part in the “battle” and the many other activities that were organized, including a fashion photo shoot of participants wearing their aprons and hats.

The luncheon prepared by Lee Ha-yeon included several dishes that used kimchi as an ingredient, not a side dish. Of course, participants also had the chance to taste and judge the exotic creations of the “battle” teams.

The team winners of the event were given prizes of 500,000 won for first prize, 300,000 won for second and 200,000 won for third prize.al Center in Yeoksam-dongg, Seoul, Saturday. Courtesy of Pilar Perez

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>