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- Drama: Fermentation Family (literal title)
- Revised romanization: Balhyogajog
- Hangul: 발효가족
- Director: Park Chan-Hong
- Writer: Kim Ji-Woo
- Network: jTBC
- Episodes: 24
- Release Date: December 7, 2011 -- February 23, 2012
- Runtime: Wednesday & Thursday 21:00
- Language: Korean
- Country: South Korea
Set within the famous Korean restaurant Chunjiin, known especially for their kimchi dish. Ko Ho-Tae (Song Il-Kook), who grew up as an orphan, begins to work at the restaurant.
Ho-Tae was abandoned in front of an orphanage when he was only 4 years old. He then left the orphanage at the age of 18 and soon became involved with the mafia. More recently, the #1 crime boss in his group was hospitalized. The #2 man in their crime group begins a loan sharking business. Ho-Tae doesn't like the #2 guy or the loan sharking business.
One day, Ho-Tae goes to a western food restaurant where a woman named Kang-San (Park Jin-Hee) works. Ho-Tae arrives to meet a man who is in debt to the crime group for a past loan. Ho-Tae warns the man that he has only 2 days left to pay back the loan plus interest. While eating his lunch, he also complains about the salad. Kang-San overhears Ho-Tae's complaint about the salad and asks exactly what is wrong with the salad. Then, Ho-Tae's subordinate's phone rings and they leave with the man in debt to them. Kang-San becomes worried about the guy in debt and goes out to stop them from taking him. Before they leave, Ho-Tae tells her that that the salad is overpriced and too sweet. More vinegar would make the salad much better.
On the roof a building, the #2 crime boss demands the indebted man to give up his $500,000 dollar apartment as compensation for his $50,000 dollar debt. Ho-Tae finally reaches his boiling point and snaps. He beats up the other gang members including the #2 crime boss. Afterwards Ho-Tae eats lunch at a restaurant which he isn't happy with. He sees on TV at the restaurant a story about Chunjin Restaurant. Ho-Tae feels something from the story. He decides to go to Chunjin Restaurant. He stands in front of Chunjin Restaurant and remembers years back when he stood there as a young child. Ho-Tae then receives a phone call from his subordinate.
Meanwhile, Kang-San decides to add vinegar to the salad dressing and, to her surprise, notices that the salad tastes much better. At that time, she receives a phone call from her sister Woo-Joo (Lee Min-Young) who informs her that she has to come home on her dad's birthday.
Ho-Tae arrives at a junk yard to meet his subordinate, but finds himself surrounded by other gang members from his group. Ho-Tae is beaten and, during this time, a car with a siren blaring arrives in front of Ho-Tae. The driver from the car gets out. To Ho-Tae's surprise, the driver is Kang-San (the woman from the western restaurant). Kang-San takes Ho-Tae away and tries to take him to a hospital, but he refuses.
The next morning, Ho-Tae wakes up in a strange room. Ho-Tae remembers being the room when he very young. Ho-Tae goes out of the room and meets all of the family members from Chunjin Restaurant. Kang-San's father Ki-Chan (Kang Shin-Il) asks Ho-Tae to stay at Chunjiin Restaurant a couple of more days. A man then arrives offering to buy Chunjin Restaurant but Ki-Chan kicks him out. Kang-San and her sister Woo-Joo have arguments over Chunjin Restaurant and personal matters. Kang-San wants to sell Chunjin Restaurant, but her sister Woo-Joo wants her to quit her job at the western restaurant and take over Chunjin.
The next day, Ho-Tae still can't remember exactly why Chunjin Restaurant is so familiar to him and decides to ask Ki-Chan. But, Ki-Chan is gone and left behind a note saying it's up to you whether to sell Chunjin Restaurant and I have to go take care of something. All of the people at Chunjin Restaurant are dumbfounded.
Ho-Tae leaves without an answer. He goes to meet his subordinate who asks Ho-Tae to hide until the #1 crime boss recovers. Without Ho-Tae, the #1 crime boss can't get control back.
Meanwhile, at Chunjin Restaurant, Kang-San and Woo-Joo do not know what to do. With the help of longtime employee Do-Sik (Choi Jae-Sung) they are able to open up for business, but Kang-San is still thinking about going back to work at the western restaurant. Woo-Joo then tells her sister that she called the western restaurant and informed them that she quit. Kang-San immediately calls the western restaurant to tell them she will still work there, but is informed they already hired her replacement. Kang-San now decides to stay at Chunjin Restaurant until her father comes back. Ho-Tae then comes back to Chunjin Restaurant ...
- Filming began late September, 2011.
- "Fermentation Family" is followed by "A Wife's Credentials" on February 29, 2012.
Additional Cast Members:
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