Tuesday, February 8, 2011

tutorial Tuesday - Kim Chi!

Tuesdays have been named Tutorial Tuesdays!
It is my hope to post a tutorial once a week.

From cooking to crafting to gardening to space travel...

today...KIM CHI!

J (the husband) took up to Korean BBQ.
Have you ever been?
It's all you can eat grilled meat and fish.  they give you sides of kim chi (kim chee, kimchi), spicy potatos, and rice.  you all sit around a grill, open flame, and grill and eat as much as you can.  I've only been once.  It was WAY to much meat for me, not enough vegetables.  But I fell in love with kim chi.  Fermented spicy cabbage.

I found some at my grocery store.  At almost $5 a short jar it was a rare treat (not to mention it went really fast and  not always stocked!).  I would eat it in a day if I let myself.

I have IBS, and I was concerned that I might be negatively effected by eating so much at once!  It turns out not!  It's really good for you and aids digestion.  No wonder Koreans eat it a lot!

I figured I'd try making it.

I used this recipe.  There are a lot of different versions, and this one seemed simplest.


Napa cabbage - approximately one pound
4 cups of cold water
3 tablespoons of sea salt
1 tablespoon of fresh garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh green onions (scallions), finely chopped
1 teaspoon of dried red chili pepper flakes (more if you like things spicy, less if you don't)
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of sugar

First you cut the butt end off.  I forgot to take a photo, but please take note of the pretty pattern the end makes!

Rinse the leaves in cold water.
(this part sucked 'cause we keep our apartment pretty cold 'cause electricity costs so much!)
Pack 'em in a bowl and cover with cold, salted water.  Put a plate and a weight on top and stick in the fridge over night.



 Chop up your green onions, garlic and ginger.  I did more than the recipe called for.  I had a big cabbage.  In retrospect, I would have used less ginger and green onion.


 I blended all the ingredients because I don't chop very fine.  It made it much easier to spread on the leaves.

I didn't take photos of this next bit...it was too messy!   I spread a small amount of the paste on each leaf and shoved them into a big jar.  I might try chopping the cabbage first next time and just kinda tossing it around...
You don't have to put a lot on each leaf.  When it starts to ferment it all gets yummy.

I used two jars and 2/3rds of the cabbage. 

Stick the jar somewhere not cold.  Warm room temp.  (that means for my cold apartment I put it about a foot away from a heater!  The jar never got warm.)

Then you wait 3 or 4 days. 

If you have a sensitive nose...um...beware.  When you open the jar, it smells like old garbage feet.  J came home from a weekend away and exclaimed "wow!  it stinks in here!  didn't you take out the garbage?"
So, don't open it the day you have company...unless maybe they are Korean...they might enjoy the smell as much as I do...

I wasn't thrilled with the results.  I think it had a lot to do with too much ginger and green onion, and maybe not enough marinating time.  I've put it in the fridge and left it alone, and it's better.

I also made kim chi soup.  OH DIVINITY!  So good.  I used this recipe and added shitake mushrooms.  I got so excited I didn't take photos of the finished kim chi or the soup.  Next time!

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