Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kimchi (Korean Pickle)

Kimchi (Korean Pickle)

In major Western cities as well as in most East Asian countries one may buy a pack of kimchi at large supermarkets. The popularity of kimchi is attributed to the unique blending and fermentation of vegetables, herbs, pickled fish, fresh seafood, and such spices as red pepper, garlic and ginger. Kimchi is rich in vitamins, proteins, and other essential nutrients and Koreans used to rely on it as a source of nutrients when fresh vegetables were scarce in winter.

Kimchi may be classified into two main types- seasonal kimchi and winter kimchi. There are many varieties of seasonal kimchi depending on the availability of certain vegetables. A large stock of winter kimchi is prepared in early winter and lasts throughout the winter until spring vegetables are available. In recent years, however, owing to the development of green-houses, vegetables are available year round. Kimchi is an essential part of a Korean meal. It smells awful but tastes delicious.

Here's the Chinese cabbage kimchi from my mother in law. I never tried to make kimchi by myself. My mother in law told me that she would teach me on how to make kimchi before she dies so she just delivers me some at home. But I saw her making kimchi many times but she never let me help her.

Here is a recipe for making Kimchi:

Ingredients: 2 cabbages, 1/2 pear, 1/2 carrot, 2 cups of salt, 2 heads of garlic, half a head of ginger, half a bunch of shallots, 1 onion, shrimp paste (100g), 3 tbsp. of fish sauce, 1 1/2 cups of chilli powder

1. Make salty water and pour it onto the cabbages.
2. Leave it for 5 hours at least, to dehydrate the cabbages.
3. Rinse the cabbages very well to remove the excess salt and drain.
4. Cut the shallots into 1" lenght and carrot into thin strips.
5. Mix the peeled garlic, onion, ginger and pear into a mixer.
6. Put the #3 and #4 ingredients into a bowl and mix it with the shrimp paste, fish sauce and chilli powder.
7. Coat every leaves of the cabbages with the #6 ingredients.
8. Keep the kimchi in the refrigerator for 3 days before eating.

1. Apple can replace to pear.
2. Dehydrating the cabbages is very important for the texture of the Kimchi. Salting and dehydrating the cabbage makes it crunchy.

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