The Korean British Cultural Exchange (KBCE) has announced a major new project to be launched at New Malden Methodist Church next month.

Kimjang: Making and Sharing Kimchi will promote traditional techniques in making and preparing kimchi, a fermented dish which can be made using vegetables such as cabbage, which is widely regarded as a national symbol in Korea.

A spokesperson for KBCE said that despite being a cornerstone of Korean culinary culture, Kimjang was rare in the UK.

Justina Jang from KBCE said: "Unfortunately, Kimjang is a rare practice to observe in Korean families and communities in the UK. The main reasons for this are that the number of first-generation Koreans has decreased over the years, the number of mixed marriages of third-generation Koreans has increased, and some local kimchi manufacturers are now providing the dish unfermented, unlike the traditional recipe."

The kimjang preparation process has roots in a communitarian aspect of Korea’s social history.

Many households in Korea make huge amounts of kimchi in November to consume throughout the winter months when vegetables are scarce. The unique practice involves neighbours gathering together to cook together and share homemade food around the neighbourhood.

Kimjang was listed under UNESCO’s Intangible Culture Heritage programme in 2013.

Ms Jang said that KBCE hoped to enhance Korean communities in Britain under the project. She said: “We started the Kimjang Project to promote the true, original taste and ‘togetherness' value of kimchi, here in New Malden, another Korea outside of Korea.”

New Malden is home to the UK’s largest Korean community, with over 22,000 ethnic Koreans living in or near to the town.

At the upcoming launch event free samples of two types of kimchi will be on offer to the public on New Malden High Street. Tasters will get to vote on which type of kimchi they prefer. Then at 2pm KBCE will officially launch the initiative with an official introduction to the Kimjang Project.

Finally, professional chef and Korean cuisine expert HS Yim will lead a demonstration on kimchi making alongside an exhibition area that will showcase various types of kimchi.

The Kimjang Project is hosted by KBCE and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The event is supported by the Kingston Council, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, World Institute of Kimchi, Korean Food Promotion Institute, Korean Residents Society, Korean Restaurant and Supermarket Association and New Malden Rotary Club.