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Kimchi (김치) is a traditional side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables from Korea.

The most common Kimchi is Napa Cabbage and Korean radishes, with a variety of seasonings

including chilli powder, scallions, garlic, ginger and jeotgal (salted seafood).

There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi made with different vegetables as the main ingredients.

Kimchi is made during the winter by fermenting vegetables,

and  burying it in the ground in traditional brown ceramic pots called onggi (옹기)

to keep it cool, and unfrozen during the winter months.

Kimchi is a national dish of both North and South Korea.


The origin of kimchi dates back at least to the early period of the Three Kingdoms (37 BC‒7 AD).

Fermented foods were widely available, as the Records of the Three Kingdoms,

a Chinese historical text published in 289 AD, mentions that

"The Goguryeo people [referring to the Korean people] are skilled in making fermented foods

such as wine, soybean paste, and salted and fermented fish"

However, early records of kimchi do not mention garlic or chili pepper.

The first mention of chili pepper is found in Jibong yuseol, an encyclopedia published in 1614.

Sallim gyeongje, a 17‒18th century book on farm management, wrote on kimchi with chili peppers.

However, it was not until the 19th century that the use of chili peppers in kimchi was widespread.

The recipes from early 19th century closely resemble today's kimchi. 



Korean Food Grand Master No.58 (Kimchi)

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▪ Current
-  President at Kimchi Association of Korea
-  CEO at Bongwoori’s Farming Corporation
▪ Past
- Vice-President at Kimchi Association of Korea
- CEO at Bongwoori Korean Food

▪ Work experiences

 -  2018. Kimchi Making Demonstration, Special exhibition “Kimchi, Communicate with the World” at Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang

 -  2015. Kimchi Making Demonstration, the London South Korean Festival, United Kingdom

 -  2015. Kimchi Making Demonstration and Tasting, Kimchi event held in Milano Expo, Italy

 -  2011. Kimchi Making Demonstration, ‘Love Thailand’ Kimchi event held in Bangkok, Thailand

 - 2010. Kimchi Making Demonstration, Cultural Exchange Festival in commemoration of Korea-Vietnam diplomatic relations, Vietnam

 -  2010. Kimchi Making Demonstration, Kimchi Day event held in Seoul Plaza to celebrate the G20 Summit Meeting in Korea  

 -  2009. Kimchi Making Demonstration, Korea-Japan Cultural Exchange Kimchi Festival held in Tokyo

 -  2007. Appeared on a TV program called ‘EBS, Best Cooking Secrets’ 

 -  2005. Appeared on a TV program called ‘SBS, Masters of Living’ 

 -  Runs the Bongwoori Kimchi Class all year round

 -  Gives lectures on kimchi at the Cultural Center of Hyundai Department Store in Korea

 -  Writes articles on kimchi in the monthly magazine “Happy Home”

 -  Gives lectures on ‘Crunch Classic’ kimchi for the promotion of Samsung’s Zipel Refrigerator

▪ Honors and Awards  

 -  2012. The Korea President’s Award

 -  2010. The Grand Prize in the category of Korean Intellectuals

 -  2010. An Achievement Award from the Minister of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

 -  2007. The Grand Prize at the Kimchi Expo 

▪ Authored Books

  - “Kimchi Master Lee Ha-yeun’s Masterpiece Kimchi”

▪ DVD production titled “Lee Ha-yeun’s Traditional Korean Kimchi” 

   (Available in English, Japanese, and Korean versions)

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