Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kim Chi

Kim Chi is the sacred cow of Korea. 

It is a staple of their diet, right next to rice. 

Kim Chi is the butter and rice is the bread. 

I can not STRESS enough how much Koreans LOVE their KIM CHI! 

Kim Chi is made 3 out of the 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, and Fall.  During the Winter they live on Kim Chi from the Fall. 

It is a lengthy cooking process of fermenting cabbage with spices.  I have not made Kim Chi yet, but I hope to do so within the next few months. 

So for now, all that I know I learned from Wikipedia.  Kim Chi Ingredients:

  • Cabbage (though they make Kim Chi out of other vegetables like radishes)
  • Salt
  • Red Chili Peppers
  • Fermented- Brined Anchovies OR
  • Fermented- Brined Shrimp

Gimchi.jpg Picture from Wikipedia

Now, Kim Chi is eaten as a side to every meal (yes, even breakfast).  Soups are made from it, and it’s put in fried rice, and … (well, you get my point).  As I mentioned before, a staple. 

All Kim Chi tastes different, depending on the family recipe and how new or old it is.  New Kim Chi is mainly spicy, but the longer it ferments, the ‘tangier’ it becomes.  Mark and I prefer newer Kim Chi.

Because Kim Chi takes so long to make, they make BIG BATCHES.  Now, allow me to introduce, the “Kim Chi Refrigerator.” EVERYONE has at least one of these fridges in their home.  It looks like a chest freezer and is DEDICATED to Kim Chi.   

Mark and I have really come to enjoy Kim Chi.  I make a great Kim Chi soup, and we eat it as a spicy side dish. 

Here are some pictures of us enjoying Kim Chi:

PICT1921  This restaurant’s Kim Chi isn’t as red – less chili peppers.

PICT1918 Mark is demonstrating for the audience back home how to ‘consume’ Kim Chi.  Chop Sticks ONLY! :o)

If you want to make friends with Koreans LIKE THEIR KIM CHI.  This is, after all, the pride and joy of Korean cuisine!


  1. Anonymous04:23

    I think this may be one of my favorite posts yet, Janae! Once in college I cooked for a Korean church group at a retreat center...and they brought their own Kim Chi. I thought it was spoiled and wanted to throw it out. Apparently it was still good. Oops!


  2. Anonymous02:40

    Once you make it, you'll be surprised by how EASY it is to make! I LOVE LOVE LOVE kim chi, but then again, I'm Korean. =) But apparently have been "Americanized" as I leave the anchovies and shrimp out. And it's still just as good!


  3. Anonymous02:43

    PS I laughed so hard at your "massage" post! I totally remember a friend of ours getting that done during a back massage in China! How hilarious! But Mark had him beat, by like 30 bruises!