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Seasoned with Care

Salt has arrived from South Korea

In a recent delivery, a box of premium salt arrived at CHAE from South Korea, sent by Chae's mother. This isn't just any salt; it's 간수뺀소금, which translates to "mineral-removed salt." This type of salt plays a crucial role in Korean cuisine, particularly in the lengthy aging and fermentation processes of staple dishes like kimchi.

Bags of salt are sitting in mom's warehouse for years to remove minerals.

In Korean cuisine, the use of mineral-removed salt is essential. The presence of minerals can cause vegetables to become mushy and impart an undesirable bitter taste during fermentation. The process to remove these minerals is quite simple yet effective. Freshly harvested sea salt is packed into sacks, with small cuts made at the bottom corners. These sacks are then stored in a shaded warehouse for several years. Over time, moisture is drawn to the bottom and seeps out through the cuts, resulting in extra-crispy, dried sea salt that is ideal for Korean fermentation.

Back in South Korea, it is common practice to purchase large batches of fresh sea salt harvested in the same year, allowing them to age in warehouses to prepare for 김장 (kimchi-making season). However, with modernization and urbanization, many households now opt to purchase this specially prepared salt at higher retail prices due to limited space for storage.

Given the difficulty of obtaining this specific type of salt in Australia, Chae's mother has been a steadfast supporter behind the scenes, ensuring a steady supply for CHAE's operations. Her dedication is evident in every shipment, contributing to the authenticity and quality of CHAE's culinary creations.

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