중앙데일리

Where art thou, kimchi?

Here’s where the leftovers from side dishes go

Sept 29,2003
The following is a tip on traditional Korean language and customs in response to a query from a Mr. Liebermann, who wrote to us from Seoul:

Q. Mr. Liebermann:
Korean homes and restaurants serve a pile of fresh kimchi at every meal, every day. Because they usually serve a lot at each meal, so much of it seems to go to waste. What do Koreans do with the uneaten kimchi? Do they throw away that much kimchi on a daily basis?

A. IHT-JAD:
In most Korean homes, housewives save the leftovers to make kimchijjigae (stew), kimchi soup, kimchi fried rice, kimchi jeon (pancakes) and kimchi mandu or dumplings.

In the old days, Korean restaurants did likewise, but sanitary codes have since banned the reuse of any foods, so most restaurants began dishing out smaller portions of kimchi. The varied main dishes made with kimchi use a fresh batch, now supplied from factories. The leftovers, along with other food scraps, are picked up by recycling companies specializing in processing them. Our advice? Avoid eating in suspiciously cheap eateries that look dirty or operate without a license.


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