Written by EatinAsian creator Kimlai Yingling
Today I explored Korean Market World in Koreatown. I was specifically looking for ingredients to make Kimchi that are only found at a Korean supermarket for an EatinAsian video shoot coming up. Since I rarely frequent Korean markets I knew there was going to be a bit of a learning curve. I always have to take a deep breath before I enter an unknown country (aka Asian market that doesn’t specialize in printing anything in English) because I have no idea what to expect. There were so many people in this market and the isles were not made for two-way traffic. There were little ladies every 3 feet once you entered the store cooking samples of various Korean foods. It reminded me of going to Costco and having so many sampling options that you didn’t need to eat lunch. I would highly recommend coming here to explore the flavors of Korean food. It was awesome to have the option to taste new things that I would never even think to buy since I can’t read Korean packaging. After trying every single sample I got into my usual routine whenever I’m in a new place and went up and down every isle getting a photo image in my brain of all the products and familiarizing myself with the layout.
The Kimchi isle or shall I say Kimchi corner was not hard to find. Kimchi is particularly indicative to Koreans. They will eat it as a side dish for breakfast, lunch, a snack and dinner. If you didn’t know Kimchi was Korean, you would by time you walked out of the store.
There was a lady actually making kimchi, there were sample tables of kimchi, there were jars of kimchi, plastic bags of Kimchi, cucumber kimchi, to go containers of Kimchi.
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Every product was printed in Korean and none of the lines matched up with the images I printed out to use as a reference so it was time to make a friend. I befriended a lady and her mother after I heard her talking in Korean to her mom and then mumbling to herself in English. Major lifesavers. The mama helped me pick out the right hot pepper powder and then gave me a lesson of what to look for and what kinds not to use for making kimchi. Then to take it a step further both of them started sharing their own recipes and then persuaded me buy these little salty shrimp with beady eyes to help with the fermentation process.
Overall my experience was great. If I didn’t enjoy exploring so much I could understand how it could get a little stressful-this store definitely requires patience but maybe that’s why there’s a Korean spa right across the street (hint hint). You will also find a restaurant, bakery, a sushi bar and a lottery booth all under one roof.
Korean World Market
2740 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006