This Spicy Food Festival in Philadelphia Showcases the Versatility of Kimchi

Make your own jar of Korea’s national dish this weekend at LOVE Park.

philadelphia kimchi festival
Learn how to make your own kimchi at the second annual festival. | Photo courtesy of Korean Cultural Foundation
Learn how to make your own kimchi at the second annual festival. | Photo courtesy of Korean Cultural Foundation

Along with the growing popularity of K-pop and K-dramas, Korean food also continues to make its mark with eateries serving everything from corn dogs to barbecue popping up across the US.

This weekend, Philadelphians will have the hands-on chance to learn more about the foundational dish of Korean cuisine, kimchi, at a day-long celebration dedicated to this fermented cabbage speciality known for promoting gut health and its spices like gochugaru, garlic, and ginger.

Taking place on October 7 from 11 am–5 pm at LOVE Park (also known as JFK Plaza), the Korean Cultural Foundation’s second annual Kimchi Festival is all about honoring kimchi and Korean fare while showcasing the beauty of Korean culture.

traditional Korean music and dancing
Catch live performances at the festival. | Photo courtesy of Korean Cultural Foundation

The main event is the festival’s three 40-minute workshops, which teaches participants how to make their own jars of kimchi (register in advance here) and explore the tradition of gimjang, where people spend the day together preparing jars upon jars of kimchi to stock up for the winter months.

Additional festival programming includes cooking demos and tastings for kimchi fried rice, (bok-keum-bap), savory kimchi pancakes (jeon), makgeolli (Korean sparkling rice wine), and food stalls and trucks selling bites for $15 or less.

As for the non-food-centric activities, attend a workshop on folding paper fans, join in on the fun with Korean games like ddakji and jegichagi, and observe some taekwondo demonstrations.

Make sure to catch one of the various live performances occurring throughout the festival as well—from drum lines, to traditional Korean music, to a fashion show spotlighting hanboks, a traditional outfit that has been a tenet of Korean style since 57 BC.

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Kelsey Allen is an Associate Editor on the local team at Thrillist.