Our Story

Mother In Law's Kimchi

We began Mother-in-Law’s with a mission to share a delicious, authentic, handcrafted small batch kimchi using the finest natural ingredients. As an avid food and wine lover, founder, Lauryn Chun was inspired by the beauty of Korea's handcrafted tradition of kimchi as a fine food that belongs in the ranks of fine fermented foods like wine, cheese and beer traditions.

Our first kimchi launched in 2009 with original “House” based on an original recipe from her mother’s family restaurant Mother-in-Law's House (Jang Mo Jip) founded in 1989 in Garden Grove, California. It is still our best seller!

In 2012, Lauryn authored The Kimchi Cookbook: 60 Modern and Traditional Ways to Make and Cook Kimchi to share the history of kimchi making tradition with modern recipes and share its versatility to more home cooks.

Mother-in-Law’s Gochujang launched in 2014, the most popular fermented chile paste and sauces which captures authentic flavors of the Korean pantry. The unique taste of gochujang’s flavor profile comes from fermentation that bring out the taste of umami and moderate heat from the chili spice that many can enjoy. It can be used in a multitude of ways from cooking, dipping and marinade. Ours is one of the first product line in specialty and natural markets and loved by many because it contains clean ingredients with msg or no corn syrup!

Mother-in-Law’s is the first brand of artisan kimchi and gochujang sold in specialty and natural markets nationally and a leading pioneer in fermented foods category.

What makes our kimchi different?

We uphold the kimchi making tradition using a handcrafted process throughout from selecting the finest napa cabbage and chile pepper flakes to hand cutting strips of napa cabbage, cubes of daikon radishes, mixing into small batches and hand packed in glass jars. Unlike machine chopping, slicing in strips and mixing in large vats which can bruise delicate vegetables, our distinct handcrafted process from start to finish achieves optimal fermentation and balanced flavors.

Unlike many packaged foods, hand cutting vegetables into long strips and chunks also ensures a more balanced fermentation and deeper flavors to develop.

What’s in a name?

Korea’s culinary tradition have an important relationship with the mother-in-law. When a bride married into her husband’s family, it was customary for the bride to learn the new family’s kimchi making recipes. As one of the most revered culinary skills in any Korean household, traditionally, it was customary for the bride to learn the kimchi recipe from the mother-in-law.

kimchi fermentation

A BRIEF HISTORY

Although the origins of kimchi date back to 7th century Korea, it wasn’t until 17th century that a modern version of kimchi and the use of chili peppers began. There are about 200 foundational recipes for different types of kimchi using seasonal vegetables (not only cabbage) and regional styles.

As an agrarian society, kimchi was made year round using seasonal vegetables but particularly made in large quantities during the winter months using napa cabbage and stored in earthen jars called onggi, buried deep into the ground to protect and preserve the pickled vegetables from the cold.

Regional variances in kimchi styles evolved, using more anchovy sauce in the south as a natural preservative for warmer climates while in the north, less pungent kimchi fermented shrimp sauce became a popular regional style. Much of the seasoning recipes vary by what was on hand regionally so both vegan and non-vegan recipes evolved.

For more information about kimchi, refer to The Kimchi Cookbook: 60 Modern and Traditional Ways to Make and Cook Kimchi