kimchi recipe (and bonus essay)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

(click on picture to enlarge)

As I've said before, I don't care for kimchi. It's not that I don't like spicy food, as most Koreans seem to believe is the only reason foreigners could possibly not like "the most delicious and healthy food in Korea." (See essay at the end of this entry.) I love spicy Mexican and Thai food, just to name my two favorite cuisines. Kimchi is slimy and sour, in addition to being spicy. I've been told that if I keep eating it, I'll eventually grow to like it and even become addicted. To which I reply, why would I want to force myself to become addicted to something?

Many people (including Matthew) do like kimchi, however, and might be interested in making the stinky (seriously, when Matthew opens a jar at home, I start inspecting the boys' diapers to see who made Mommy a present), slimy stuff. A new Korean teacher at Matthew's school wrote out the recipe for him. This is a bit amazing, since most Koreans I've asked don't know how to make kimchi themselves. Their mothers or mothers-in-law do all the kimchi-making. I wonder if it's becoming a lost art among the younger generation of Koreans.

I will do my best to type it below, in case you have difficulties reading the photograph above. Some parts do not entirely make sense to me. Some quantities/amounts she added in to the original directions. I don't really think 2 c of red pepper powder means 2 cups, maybe 2 ccs. Also, she doesn't say anything about letting it ferment. Maybe you can figure it out. Think of it as a culinary adventure.

Kimchi Recipe (by Jane)

1. Cut the cabbage into quarters.

2. Spread salt on the cabbage. And let it be 4-5 hours. (The salt should be bigger one like this [sample salt is taped to page] One handful of salt per 3 quarters of cabbage)

And Now Let's make Sauce
([for] 3 cabbage) Get ready --> Red pepper powder (2 c), well minced garlic (7-8), well minced green onion (3), salted fish juice (2 table spoon per one quarter of cabbage), sugar (2 tablespoon), salted shrimp (2T), 1 fresh oyster, 1 onion, 1 pear or apple.

3. Put onion and pear in the blender.

4. Put everything in a bowl and mix well.

5. Pour half cup of water in a pan, and put 2 tablespoon of wheat flour. Boil it with low temperature. Keep stir it. When it looks like glue. Then stay it to get cold. And then mix with the sauce.

Sauce Ready!

6. Wash off the cabbage and let it water drip.

[illustration of cabbage on a wicker tray]
(It'll take 3 hours to dry.)

7. Finally spread the sauce on the cabbage. Yummy~

[And then an illustration at the bottom. It's apparently Matthew as Dr. House from "House MD," yielding a scalpel and proclaiming, "I'm a surgern." Hmmm...maybe an allusion to his ambition to become an MD? Or maybe she thinks his personality is like House?]

Finally, as promised, a middle school student's essay that I corrected this week. The prompt was, "Does Kimchi have medicinal properties beyond fresh fruits and vegetables at increasing the body's resistance to swine flu, the HIV virus, and other diseases?" I'm typing out the student's original response, without corrections. (Although there are some errors and the student doesn't actually answer the question, you have to admit this student's mastery of a foreign language is pretty darn good for middle school, an age when many American students haven't even begun learning a second language.)

Kimchi has been the most delicious and healthy food in Korea. Many Americans hate to eat it because it's too spicy. However, they will start to it at once if they know how good Kimchi is.

First of all, Kimchi is a anti-cancer food. Many healthy ingredients are included in Kimchi such as cabbage which prevents intenstine cancer and garlic which prevents stomach cancer. those who don't want to get cancer really should eat Kimchi.

In addition to that, Kimchi is a vitamin-containing food. Besides, when Kimchi is passing through the fermenting stage, containment of vitamin increases up to over two times than initial containment of vitamin.

What is more, Kimchi is a low calory food. It contains a lot of eatable fiber. Thus, it prevents and treat all kind of adult diseases like diabetes, heart diseases and fat, etc.

Now you see how healthy you would be to eat Kimchi. I'm proud of my ancestor who invented a laudable food -- Kimchi. I highly recommend people to eat Kimchi, and hope they like it.


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2 cups red pepper powder means 2 cups. Those sauce ingredients are for 3 full heads of napa cabbage.

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