I swim every morning with Kim Li who came from Korea only a couple of years ago. We have the best time, even more entertaining because she speaks no English and I don't speak Korean. Somehow, we manage to laugh and exchange ideas. We've taught her to say "see you tomorrow" and she's got it down pat. One day I asked her for her recipe for Kimchi (kim-chee). It took a couple of minutes but then she said, in her most outgoing voice "Ahhhh, Kimchi". I did the smile and nod thinking she didn't really understand but sure enough, the next morning she showed up with a recipe, hand printed, exactly as follows.
A Korean superfood eaten with every meal, it's said that Kimchi is part of a low fat, high fibre diet that keeps Koreans slim and trim. AND, since it's a fermented condiment, it has health benefits that both aid digestion and even helps to prevent yeast infections. There are many different recipes; this one is one of the simpler ones I've seen. Fellow blogger Kevin, from Closet Cooking has done alot of experimentation with many different recipes for Kimchi and I know he's hooked on it.
1 whole head Napa cabbage
1/4 cup sea salt
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup*red pepper paste (ko-choo-kah-rhoo)(*quantity depends on your heat tolerance)
1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
1 tsp ginger, minced
3-4 sliced green onions
2 Tbsp fish sauce
A pair of kitchen gloves
1. Separate leaves of napa cabbage and chop into bite sized pieces (no need to clean them yet, we'll be giving them a good rinse in a bit)
2. Add sea salt to warm water, stir to dissolve
3. Add salt water to cabbage and give a light toss to distribute the salt water. Set aside at room temperature for 4-5 hours, stirring at the 2 hour mark.
4. Wash and strain the cabbage 2-3 times. After rinsing off all the salt water, return cabbage to a large bowl.
5. Add red pepper paste, garlic, ginger, green onions, fish sauce. Put on your gloves and give the kimchi a good mix massaging in the flavours.
6. Kimchi should sit at room temperature for 1-2 days and then transferred into capped jars. You can eat it with just about anything.
* The 1/3 cup of red pepper paste gave the kimchi a good amount of heat. If you're not a fan of spicy food, put in less.
Here's a great video that walks you through the steps.
History of Kimchi
Korean New Year 2012