|▲ Lee Sun Mi Kimchi / President SunMi Lee|
Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine. No kimchi, no Korean. No matter how many exotic foods seem to be invading our dining table, Koreans can certainly say that this rule keeps its strong root unless you are not born and raised Koreans. A variety of kimchi is found on the table season to season and food to food. Names are made according to their shape and ingredients. Some of the popular kimchis include baechu kimchi (the most common whole cabbage kimchi), baek kimchi (white kimchi), dongchimi (non-spicy watery kimchi), chonggak kimchi (ponytail radish kimchi), pa kimchi (spicy green onion kimchi) and yeolmu kimchi (young radish kimchi). Yeolmu kimchi aka young summer radish kimchi among this kimchi family, is second to none, after baechu kimchi, in terms of frequency of appearing as a side dish on the table no matter what the main dish is for its crunchiness is unrivaled. Lee Soon Mee Kimchi is a South Korean agricultural cooperative specialized in yeolmu kimchi.
Lee’s mother made a name for herself in traditional Korean sauces for nearly 30 years and Lee as her first daughter grew under influence of the environment. It might not be a surprise therefore for Lee to initiate her own ‘healthy stew sauce’ recognized in a Korean food project run by the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Administration. Kimchi regardless of its variety cannot be kimchi without proper sauces. Opening her kimchi business in 2011 was an event that Lee applied her years of expertise in sauce making to a variety of kimchis with yeolmu kimchi as the flagship. All kimchis made at Lee Soon Mee Kimchi have no added chemical substances but 100% homeland-grown ingredients. Young radish is known to be rich in vitamin A and C and minerals. It is especially good to enjoy in the summer as the rich minerals in the kimchi fill up the lost minerals in the sweat. It is also known to be rich in potassium which helps prevent high blood pressure and in fiber which helps digestion and bowel movement. Young radish used to be seasonal, but we can have it now throughout the year because of the development of agriculture technic. Unlike other kimchis, yeolmu kimchi is relatively hard for beginners to make properly. Thanks to Lee Soon Mee Kimchi, people do not have to risk embarrassing results or even struggles. “Korean sauces especially kimchi sauces are limited to certain types of food. My goal is to make these Korean sauces stand on the dining table of a house or restaurant so that dinners can apply them to many types of food home or exotic. It will take time and effort but I think it is worth the time and effort” says Lee.
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