The older kitchen maids are upset that the superiors picked jang-geum and geum-young as their assistants.Yeon-Sheng defends jang-geum.Jang-geum begs Han sang goon to pick someone else since she can’t deciper tastes.Han sang goon tells jang-geum the reason she can’t pick anyone else is because jang-geum has culinary talent and understanding of food that neither han sang goon,choi sang goon nor geum-young has. Han sang goon orders jang-geum to show up to practice the next day.Jang-geum remembers her childhood days when her mother explained to her the ways of food preparation and food-pairing.Han sang goon tells jang-geum to make ‘dae-ha-jjim’(harmony stew) even though she’s never done it and she can’t taste a thing. Jang-geum makes royal dishes while han sang goon watches.Han sang goon tells jang-geum not to taste her own food,rather cook with confidence in her knowledge. Choi sang goon tells geum-young about the secret recipes that their family has acquired from the previous palace supervisors.Choi sang goon wants geum-young to practice with the secrets. Choi sang goon walks in to the girls room while Young-Ro and chan-ee are playing majong.Choi talks to young-Ro privately. Choi sang goon gives young-Ro money and ask her to move in with jang-geum and Yeon-Sheng and spy on jang-geum’s every movement.
There is a crisis in the royal kitchen dept.All the jars of bean paste have an off taste even though the same salt and same water were used like before.(it’s a serious matter because when the taste of bean paste is changed it signifies a bad omen to the nation) Jung sang goon tells han and choi sang goon to figure out what happened and find a way to solve the crisis.This will be marked as their first competition.Choi sang goon takes geum-young to see her brother for help.Choi sang goon finds out from her brother that the salt was switched by Elder Oh. Brother Choi is worried by the news since han sang goon is investigating the matter so he orders his men to hurry and get rid of the salt that is in the store. Han sang goon brings jang-geum to town to trace the origin of all the materials that are involved in the palace paste making. Han sang goon and jang-geum run into Mr.and Mrs Gam as they’re on their way to the palace to bring previous wine to jang-geum.Jang-geum tells Mr.Gam about the bean taste. Geum-young tells choi sang goon she doesn’t think salt is the reason why the taste changed. Chan-ee asks jung sang goon about the difference salt tastes when stored moist vs.dry and this gives jung sang goon a clue.
Master Min jung-ho and his men are guarding the palace at night when they see a shadow running by.Gam sneaks into the place where the bean pastes are kept inside the palace.Master Min jung-ho and the guards find gam praying in front of the jars.Master Min orders Gam’s capture.Master Min jung-ho orders gam to confess his offense.Gam begs for Master Min to listen to his explanation.Gam drops the name of ‘jang-geum’ to get Master Min’s attention.Master Min brings gam to jung sang goon. Gam states that he was there to help jang-geum to switch the taste back.Master Min lets gam off. Master Min apologizes to gam about being harsh earlier and asks gam if jang-geum is his daughter. Gam says people comment how her intelligence reminds them of her father’s wit.Master Min states he sees no resemblance.(Gam duk-goo is hilarious)
Han sang goon and jang-geum arrive at a village where the people have gathered all the jars of bean paste under one tree.They learn that the villagers believe that spot under the tree cultivates the best taste in bean paste.The villager also tells jang-geum about a couple of other spots which the villagers recognize as the best places to ferment the beans. Han sang goon and jang-geum visit the house the villagers told them about and they ask to taste the paste.They realize that the paste tastes is indeed better.
Jae jo sang goon scolds Jung sang goon for the bean paste incident and worries about the meal next day.Choi sang goon states she found a good paste they can use for the time being. Elder oh informs the king of trouble at sa-san (four mountain place.)Jae jo sang goon wonders if it’s because of the bad taste in this year’s paste.The king says that can’t be true.Han sang goon and jang-geum tell jung sang goon they found out why the taste is different and jang-geum is about to tell the kitchen supervisors the reason.