Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kimchi - Bound to Happen

It was bound to happen. Michelle made homemade kimchi. It wasn't as bad as I imagined. I had heard horror stories of the smell and the huge undertaking. But since it is only the two of us she only made a small amount. Usually making kimchi in Korea is a massive production with the entire family involved. I found you don't need a clay pot to put the kimchi in, you don't even have to bury it. (this was done before refrigeration as the earth maintains a temperture of 55-degrees and is still done, albeit to a lesser extent). A simple container and a fridge will work just fine.

Kimchi is the most popular side dish, the most popular being cabbage kimchi but kimchi can be any vegetable that is picked and stored. Radish kimchi and green onion kimchi are two other popular types.

Kimchi styles vary by region in Korea (like BBQ here in the states) with variations in spiciness and flavorings but the base remains the same.
After soaking the cabbage in salt and making a red pepper paste all you do is rub the cabbage with the paste and slam it into a container. Pretty simple and very healthy. The magazine Health named kimchi in its list of top five "World's Healthiest Foods" for being rich in vitamins, aiding digestion, and even possibly reducing cancer growth.

While you can eat the kimchi right away it is best to let it sit and ferment for a few days. Kimchi can last for a few weeks to be eaten raw or for several months if used in a stew.

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