It is 2°C in Seoul. I just came back from the Gangnam area and attended Kimchi School. During class we got a treat to wear the national dress called the Hanbok. No Korean meal is ever complete without Kimchi.There are over a hundred different kinds and the most popular is made from cabbage. The different varieties are part of “banchan” or Korean side dishes.
Koreans say making Kimchi requires a lot of patience. First part is waiting for the brine to cure, mixing the ingredients and time for flavors to develop, and then the very long wait for the fermentation process. They are stored in clay pot jars for years and may also be buried in the ground. Kimchi is considered to be very healthy because the fermentation produces the bacteria lactobacillus that aids in food digestion.
To make kimchi:
1. Cut cabbage into quarters. Submerge in water with salt for one day.
2. Wash off brine. Dry the cabbage by patting them with paper towels.
3.Make a paste by mixing together chili powder, garlic, salt, a bit of sugar, fish sauce, shrimp paste and ginseng powder(optional).
4. Wipe the paste between each layer of the cabbage leaves. Allow a week for the dish to ferment.