As I have mentioned before my adventures in martial arts and meditation came about unexpectedly and by mere chance. I had enrolled my son in a Montessori School run by a wonderful Korean family where the teachers were all American via Italy, Poland, Cuba and of course Korea.
It was an international airport of knowledge and great food. I was first introduced to Kimchi back in 2000 when my Tae Kwon Do teacher/meditation instructor/Karaoke partner/Buddhist Monk/friend brought some to class. I wish I had the video of what my first attempt at working chop sticks and spicy food looked like...
...ahh memories...but anyhoo, I fell in love again. It was probably one of the strangest foods I had ever tried- rotten cabbage, peppers- OK not rotten but definitely fermented with various seasonings.
It's a dish that dates back over a thousand years and according to Health.com Koreans ate about 40 pounds per person each year back in 2008!
Traditionally, the reddish fermented cabbage dish—made with a mix of garlic, salt, vinegar, chili peppers, and other spices is served at every meal and you can eat it solo or over rice or even as a pizza topping. Some people like to add different ingredients but regardless of the ingredients, all the veggies are chopped up and mixed together with the various spices and fermented. In the olden days, they would bury the kimchi underground (55 degrees) in earthenware pots until the lid popped.
Kimchi is high in dietary fiber while still being low in calories. It's great for the digestive system and can fight viral infections AND recent studies point to Kimchi as a potential cancer fighter. Other evidence still shows that the fermentation process the multiplies vitamins, minerals and and all other nutrients present in kimchi and indicates that the probiotics in kimchi are crucial to our well being.
|Picture Thanks to Gourmet.com|
Makes about 2 qt
- Active time:20 min
- Start to finish:3 1/2 hr (includes pickling time)
- 1 (3-lb) head Napa cabbage
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped peeled ginger
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped (1 cup)
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (see Tips) and crushed with side of heavy knife
- 2 to 3 tablespoons coarse Korean hot red-pepper flakes
- 1/2 (1-lb) Asian pear
- Quarter cabbage lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 2- to 3-inch pieces. Toss with 3 Tbsp salt in a large bowl and let stand, tossing occasionally, 2 hours.
- Rinse cabbage well, then drain. Squeeze out excess water with your hands and transfer to a large bowl.
- Purée garlic and ginger with fish sauce and vinegar in a blender until smooth, then pour over cabbage. Add scallions, sesame seeds, and red-pepper flakes and toss to coat.
- Peel pear, then grate on large holes of a box grater (avoid core and seeds). Add to cabbage mixture and toss well. Marinate at least 1 hour.
- Kimchi keeps, chilled in an airtight container, 1 month (flavor will get stronger)