I remember there was a time when everyone wrinkled their nose when I would mention kimchee. Now, it’s so popular and I see it everywhere. Recently, I even noticed that a local burger joint had a kimchee topped burger on its menu. This weekend on the Food channel, there was a bloody mary profiled, that had kimchee in it. YUM.
In case you don’t know what it is, it’s a Korean side dish made with lots of salt, cabbage and red pepper flakes that are finely ground. It also contains lots of garlic. Of course there are variations using cucumbers (my fave), onions, radish, etc. It becomes pickled/fermented by all of the salt. It’s served with almost every Korean meal……kinda like a little salad or garnish.
I love to add it to my ramen bowls, or fried rice. Kimchee fried rice is delicious too. Oh, and how about some teriyaki beef or chicken tacos with chopped kimchee as a garnish instead of the traditional lettuce. If you haven’t tried kimchee, I hope you will. It’s really good. I love it so much. I remember when I was growing up, my mom and I would stay up late watching a Japanese movie. She would fix us each a bowl of rice with hot green tea poured over it and some kimchee drizzled with soy sauce, on the side. It is to this day, still one of my favorite comfort foods.
Just a note…..might wanna have some mints close by. Hahahahah, you will definitely have garlic breath.
1 large (or 2 medium) bunch of Napa cabbage
6 -7 cloves of fresh garlic, grated or minced very fine
1/2 cup sea salt
5 green onions, sliced
1 Tblsp fresh grated ginger
4 cups water
3/4 cup Korean pepper powder (found in Asian markets)
Chop napa cabbage into large pieces. Place them in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the sea salt. Pour the water over the cabbage and give it a good toss. Let it sit like that for an hour and a half, tossing once in awhile.
In another bowl, mix together the pepper powder, ginger, garlic and green onions. Pour in 1 cup of water and mix everything together. Set aside.
After the cabbage has set for an hour and a half, drain the water off. Rinse the cabbage twice and drain well. Add the red pepper mixture and mix well. Dump it all into an airtight container or jar. Allow to set out on the counter for an entire day. The salt content will ferment your cabbage. After a day, place it in the refrigerator for at least a day, but I always wait 2-3 days. Give it a good shake and eat it up!