Hae Jung Cho, a local cook and Korean food enthusiast, held a Koreatown Market Tour on Saturday, August 23. She guided participants through two Korean supermarkets and a rice cake shop, explaining what the different items are and showing where to find key ingredients for Korean recipes. Her goal is to help people become more familiar with Korean foods and markets, and she plans on offering more market tours in the future.

Cho, who has 11 years of experience working as a cook in various restaurants, teaches people how to make kimchi, a traditional Korean fermented side dish made of various vegetables and seasonings. She said she decided to do a market tour to show people where to buy the ingredients.

“I’ve been doing kimchi classes for a while, and many people were asking where they can find the ingredients, so I decided to do a market tour… It’s for people who are interested in Korean food but are not comfortable going to the markets by themselves,” she said.

Mirja Wine from Altadena attended one of her kimchi-making classes as well as the market tour. Wine, who is married to a Korean, frequently cooks Korean food at home and said she wanted to find gluten-free ingredients for Korean dishes because she cannot eat gluten.

Cho, who immigrated to the United States from South Korea at the age of three, said she grew up eating kimchi but only became more interested in making it after being certified as a master preserver by Los Angeles County. As a master preserver, she teaches people how to preserve and ferment food such as fruit and vegetables. She holds her kimchi-making classes at her home in Koreatown, and her next class will be held on September 20.

Information about her kimchi-making classes and market tours can be found on her Facebook page “Hae Jung’s Kimchi Club.”