Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Seolnal (Korean New Year) Eat Your Kimchi

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


Torviewtoronto said...

wonderfully done looks wonderful

That Girl said...

I bet as your friendship develops so will both of your language skills.

FOODalogue said...

My eyes popped open when I saw 1/4 cup of salt but as I read further, I see it's rinsed. Looks like a good recipe and I loved the story about communicating with your new friend.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I have yet to try kimchi but it looks like I could make it at home.

kat said...

I'm not a big kimchi fan myself but Matt loves it. Luckily, our favorite local pizza place is run by a Korean woman & she makes her mom's kimchi for a a Korean pizza so he can get his fix.

Unknown said...

Homemade kimchi is the best and yours looks great! What a coincidence as I am making a new batch today.