Monday, May 16, 2016

Kim Chi

Korean Cabbage In Chili Sauce  Did you every watch the television series "Mash"?  There was an episode where Major Burns kept thinking those buried pots were bombs and kept digging them up only to discover the pots were filled with Kim Chi? 

Kim Chi has been a popular dish in Korea.  My father was stationed in Korea during the Korean War.  He worked as an orderly for the navy.  At some point, he was working in a ward filled with Koreans.  They would have visitors who brought Kim Chi to the sick.  My father commented that they could always tell when someone had it due to the smell.

I enjoy Kim Chi and have been making it for many years.  Due to where I live, I end up having to use regular green cabbage rather than the Chinese cabbage because they don't get anything other than the green cabbage at the stores. 

I'll share the way I make mine and know that there are so many different recipes out there that you find one that works for you.  I cure mine in plastic ziplock bags because I usually make so much of it, I share it with friends and coworkers.

I cut about 2 to 4 heads of green cabbage into 1 inch square pieces.  I do not use the core in the center but I use the rest of it except for the outer leaf.  I alternate layers of salt with cabbage until the plastic bag is full, throw in 1/2 cup of water or so, and close it.  I let it set for 24 hours before I drain any liquid out of it and wash the cabbage.

I mix up some red pepper paste also known as gochujang with smashed ginger and garlic, a bit of vinegar and mix it all up.  I layer the cabbage and spicing mix till the plastic bag is full, throw in maybe 3/4 cup of water and close it.  I move the bag to the liquid around until the red spicing mix is mixed throughout the cabbage.

I set it aside for a few days and when it looks right, I start eating it.  I really don't measure a lot of things.  If you prefer having a recipe with actual measurements, you can check the internet for recipes.  Don't be afraid of trying to make your own.  Its fun and you get a good product.

I use kim chi in rice, soup, spaghetti sauce, and just about anything I cook.  Tonight, I threw some of the juice mixed with olive oil over the vegetables I roasted. It added a bit of a bite to the veggies.  I really enjoyed it. 

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