Kimchi/Kimchee/Gimchi (Korean Fermented Spicy Cabbage)
I finally made my first official batch of kimchi (fermented spicy cabbage) last week with some success and now just finishing up the editing and writing part of it. My version came out pretty good--the result being a mild (as in not so spicy), fresh taste with a surprising crunch to each bite. The only thing that might have made it better would be the addition of more gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes), which I will definitely add more the next time. Anyways, there is so much information and history on kimchi that it would take several posts, but I will keep it brief as possible. First of all, kimchi is synonymous with Korean cooking because it's been around thousands of years. Its production was the result of their geography--long, harsh winters made kimjang (annual ritual of making kimchi in bulk) a necessity for survival. And surprisingly, this tradition still remains in many families today (not for survival purposes obviously) as kimchi is used in so many others dishes including the likes of stir fries, soups and stews, and condiment. Another positive appeal of kimchi these days is its many health benefits. It's loaded with vitamins A, B, C, and carotene, but its biggest benefit may be its “healthy bacteria” called lactobacillus, found in fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt. This good bacteria helps with digestion, lowers cholesterol, and there were "supposed" instances of kimchi preventing cancer growth. Furthermore, I was even surprised (shocked more so) to hear that it made Health magazine's list of top five "World's Healthiest Foods" and was favorably mentioned on Dr. Oz's show for its health benefits. It's nice to see kimchi getting the positive attention that it finally deserves. Here is the recipe in its entirety.