The Vance family gimjang

By Maangchi

Adam Vance has been a Korean food fan for years and I interviewed him for my website in 2010. He recently showed me some photos he took of his family’s gimjang (traditional winter kimchi making time) and I loved them so much I asked him if I could share them with my readers. He said: “Nothing would make me happier than to let the Korean people know how much we appreciate their culture.”

He’s long been passionate about good quality, home grown delicious food for his family, and he’s a real inspiration. Here are the photos of his family’s gimjang, with his explanation of their kimchi-making process. And look how his daughters have grown! I’d love to meet the family face to face someday and listen to their stories about their Korean cooking!
The Vance family

Adam writes:

So, for the Vance family, gimjang is a two day process. On the first day, we go to the Korean store and buy all of the fresh ingredients to make kimchi. On the second day, we get up early in the morning to prepare the kimchi seasoning. We are making a lot so it’s a lot of work!

kimchi making ingredients mixing pastemixing paste

After the we are done with the seasoning paste, we go and begin washing all of the cabbage in the large Korean bowls and strainers.

washing cabbage 20151016_133438-2

We then begin salting down the cabbage.

salting cabbage 20151016_140607 20151016_140605

While we wait for a couple hours, we rest and take a drive to get some ice cream. But before we go, we give the cabbage a turn.

salted cabbage

When we return, we give it another turn, and then begin washing the salt off. Then the fun begins as we apply the seasoning to all the cabbage. My daughters like to do this part (and they also really enjoy mixing the seasoning together, too!).

spreading kimchi pastefresh kimchifresh kimchi

Then we tuck the kimchi babies in their beds and into the kimchi refrigerator. I leave a container outside overnight to get a quicker start on the fermentation process.

kimchi fridge

We brought some kimchi to the local Chinese restaurant owner; she loves kimchi! She tried to pay us but no, it’s a gift. She insists by saying next time, our meal is free! Hahaha.

The neighbors came and watch us during gimjang. They were wondering, “What in the world are these people doing?” We have fun explaining to them and inviting them to try our kimchi. But, it is new for them and they politely decline the invitation.

I have several friends at work who are anxiously waiting for me to bring them some kimchi. They love it. Next Sunday, some friends from church are having us over for dinner and they say: “Please bring some kimchi!”


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  1. Oxide California My profile page joined 2/15
    Posted October 30th, 2015 at 5:44 pm | # |

    Hey, it all looks good to me! And I like it when someone makes enough to share with me.

  2. jordanmattes Arlington, WA, USA My profile page joined 11/11
    Posted October 28th, 2015 at 9:34 pm | # |

    It’s really neat that you guys do this. The beauty of living in a cosmopolitan society like the US is that we can share cultural ideas and spread different traditions and foods around society. As we learn more and more, we have more and more in common. I think food is the thing that brings cultures and people together.

  3. Sav_sss Canada (near Montreal) My profile page I'm a fan! joined 3/15
    Posted October 28th, 2015 at 4:57 pm | # |

    Woww this is amazing !!! i wish that people that i love would love doing kimchi with me !! But in Quebec korean food is only starting to get known but REALLY starting lol so no one around me never tasted kimchi and they always (like you said) politely decline whenever i offer them and it’s always pissing me off because i know how good it is haha. Anyway you are really lucky to be able to do that with your family and friends :).. Looks really really good too aahah!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted October 29th, 2015 at 12:14 am | # |

      “..politely declined…” : ) I know how you feel! It happens to me often.
      But some people are less adventurous about new things especially when it comes to food.
      I also understand them.

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