Kimchi jars outside a house in Seoul.
If Korean, serve at every meal.
Fermented cabbage: sour, pungent and addictive.
To prepare … set aside whole day …
Ever since our holiday in Korea, I’ve wanted to make kimchi. Every house had its earthenware kimchi jar, or jars, with various kinds of pickled vegetables fermenting happily away within.
This week I had a cabbage mountain, and two days ago, had the perfect excuse to get started, even though, strictly, it wasn’t the right sort of cabbage. I watched this YouTube video by Maangchi, who’s the Korean cook to watch if you want to acquire a bit of know-how. You can watch it too, but if you don’t feel like it, here’s my summary underneath.
Between soaking chopped cabbage, salting it for long hours; cooking and cooling a sauce base; preparing and processing onions, garlic, ginger; chopping piles of vegetables finely and adding Korean chilli flakes; mixing the lot together; packing it into an airtight container – you won’t be doing much else between breakfast and a very late lunch.
One chopped cabbage.
Two chopped onions, garlic, ginger …
Ground rice and water ‘custard’, with added processed vegetables.
Mix it all up, really thoroughly.
… and bung it in a jar.
Press down well, and … wait … patiently
Now … now it’s beginning to ferment. Sour already, it’ll become more pungent as the days and weeks go by. Try a bit? If it’s your first time you may not like it. But you may come to love it: fermented, sour, spicy, soft yet crunchy, it’s a meal in its own right or a fine addition to a simple plate of rice or noodles. Just as well I made a lot. It was a bit of a palaver.
Making kimchi takes a long time.
It’s worth it – don’t you think?
An offering for Six Word Saturday.