Tours teach how to make your own kimchiFor those who buy and enjoy kimchi (Korean pickled cabbage) regularly but do not know how to make it, there are various kimjang (which translates as preparing kimchi) tours available. Many individual farm villages, as well as kimchi companies, hold these tours. On most of the tours, because the cabbage has been pickled beforehand, the process of kimjang only takes half a day.
Most of the tours are in Korean, with the exception of the Jeonju Hanok Village kimjang tour (which provides English speakers with a translator), so if you do not speak Korean, it would be advisable to take along a Korean friend to help you understand the tour leader’s directions.
Dongwon F&B kimjang tour
Since 2001, the Dongwon factory in North Chungcheong province’s Jincheon county has held a kimjang tour every year. The main ingredients, including the cabbage and radish, are prepared by the tour staff, but the seasonings, including red pepper powder, salted fish and salt, are laid out for participants to choose which they want to add to their kimchi. The tour is great for beginners as staff members go around and explain the kimjang process.
The cost is 90,000 won ($95) for 20 kg (44 pounds) of kimchi and 140,000 won for 30 kg. The lesson itself is free. The tour is held from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15 (twice a day). For more information, call (02) 589-3966 or visit www.yangban.com.
Dolsan Gat Kimchi Tour
On this tour, visitors get the chance to make and buy Yeosu’s specialty ― gat kimchi (pickled mustard leaves). Many people come in groups but individuals can attend also. The head of the kimchi factory teaches the lessons personally.
Tours are given daily, except on Saturdays and Sundays. The cost is 4,000 won for 1 kg of gat kimchi. For more information, call (061) 644-0636 or visit www.dolsangat.co.kr.
Yeosu, Jangteo Village
When you visit, the village head gives lessons on making gat kimchi. This tour is only available for groups of eight to 10 and is a two-day course, in which activities such as watching the sunrise, a cotton plant tour, and kite flying are also included. Accommodation is available nearby.
The participation fee is 3,000 won per person and 12,000 won for 3 kg of kimchi. For more information, call (061) 644-8722 or visit www.go2vil.org. Open daily, the tour is ongoing.
Korea Agricultural Cooperative Marketing’s Hanaro Club in Busan
In this factory, in Jinhae, southern Gyeonggi province, there are a variety of kimchi classes catering to different groups, such as children or housewives. Many participants are residents of the area.
The cost depends on the amount of kimchi you make. For more information, call (051) 330-9033.
Jeonju Hanok Village
This is the third year that this hanok (traditional Korean-style house) village in Jeonju, containing over 800 hanok, has been holding kimjang tours. Everyday, from two to three o’clock, there is a kimjang demonstration. Other events, such as makgeolli (Korean rice wine) tasting and an exhibition of medicinal food from the Joseon dynasty are held alongside the main event.
The tour is held from Nov. 16 to 19. Phone reservations must be made at least three days in advance. The cost is 3,000 won for adults, 1,000 won for children, and no charge for non-Koreans. Each 20 kg of kimchi costs 100,000 won. For more information, call (063) 284-1126.
Dotori (Acorn) Village
The Dotori Village, which is a nickname for Yeoju Gangcheon district, has various farm-stay programs every season and has great lodging spots as well. A kimjang tour is 5,000 won per person, and 5,000 won per cabbage. Ongoing throughout the winter and open daily. For more information, call (031) 882-6042 or visit http://ogam.invil.org.
Incheon Ganghwa district’s Yongdurae Village
The kimjang tour gets more personal in this village, where participants get to make kimchi using ingredients and spices that the village residents made or grew themselves.
The tour is from Nov. 10 to 20 and the cost is 5,000 won per 1 kg for turnip kimchi. Reservations can be made up until Nov. 20 but are advised to be made quickly in case the cabbage supply is used up. For more information, call (011) 9038-6753 or visit www.go2vil.org.
Pungmi Food Inc.
Pungmi Food Inc. is a kimchi company which opened in 1986. The company, situated in Suwon Omokcheon district, recently opened a traditional food museum. Its kimjang tour is available for groups of 10 or more and phone reservations are available. The company head is in charge of the lessons.
The tour runs every day except Sunday at a cost of 20,000 won. For more information, call (031) 296-8168.
by Park Mi-soon