Anyone for kimchi?

Kimchi is most probably the national dish of Korea. Every household would have some in the their fridge. Some even have dedicated Kimchi fridges.  I never appreciated eating kimchi when I was growing up but ever since I moved to Singapore, I crave the good homemade stuff. Once I bought a small packet of kimchi from Cold Storage supermarket and nearly fainted when i saw fungus growing inside. Kimchi naturally ferments and becomes sour over time. I’ve never known it to go off.

A number of people have asked me if I could run a kimchi class. It’s been a while since I made kimchi . Since it takes so long to make, most Korean families buy it from a supermarket. However, if you are lucky enough to live close to your parents or even your in-laws, you will  always receive a constant supply.

My parents arrived last weekend with boxes and boxes of authentic Korean ingredients ready for my cooking classes. I decided to take advantage of mum being here and refresh my kimchi making skills.  As I was pounding a bulb of garlic, childhood memories came flooding back. I remembered times when all the Korean aunties(a-jum-ma) got together and would spend the Autumn days making kimchi. Everyone would make enough to last the cold Korean winter. Back in the olden days, the kimchi would be placed in a brown clay pot and buried in the frosty ground to keep it cool. With a modern technology, most Korean families own a kimchi fridge which keeps it at just the right temperature to stop it fermenting.

To make kimchi, the secret is to soak the cabbage in salty water until it becomes soft, but not too soggy. It normally takes around 6-8hours. After waiting patiently, I was ready to smear the cabbage with the kimchi sauce consisting of garlic, ginger, spring onions, white raddish and carrot. I was a little too enthusiastic with the fresh chilli powder though so it ended up extra spicy! Whilst you can eat it straight away, its best if you leave it in the fridge for a few days so that all the exotic tastes can permeate through the cabbage.

Making kimchi is a group activity and is lots of fun. It normally takes a full day (including all the Auntie gossip!) but I’m happy to show people the basics in a three hour session.

Kimchi power!!

4 thoughts on “Anyone for kimchi?

  • August 5, 2010 at 7:53 am
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    i love kimchi!

  • August 5, 2010 at 9:19 am
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    Hi Feli, Perhaps I will see you in my next class in October! Thanks for writing…^_^

  • July 30, 2011 at 2:50 am
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    SOME INGREDIENTS ARE REALLY NOT SAME AS IT IS IN KOREA BUT I ALWAYS TRY TO GET SIMILAR ONE FROM NIGHT MARKET AND MY KIDS LIKE IT SO MUCH. MALAYSIA PAECHU TOO WATERY IF SOAK IN THE WATER SO I JUST COVER IT WITH SALT FOR AN HOUR AND RINSE IT SEVERAL TIMES AND DRAIN WELL. SOMETIMES I SQUEEZE IT (AFTER THAT, YOU DON’T NEED TO ADD SALT IN THE KIMCHI PASTE AT ALL). I USUALLY MAKE KIMCHI ENOUGH FOR 3 MONTH SUPPLY BECAUSE IT QUITE EXPENSIVE IF I BUY FROM SUPERMARKET. IT COST ME JUST LESS THAN RM100 (ALL RAW INGREDIENTS FROM NIGHT MARKET). THE HARDEST THING IS I NEED TO DO IT ALL BY MYSELF….MY HUSBAND JUST WATCHING AND TASTING THE FINAL PRODUCT I’VE MADE…..

  • August 2, 2011 at 9:08 am
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    I gave up making kimchi here in Singapore. They seemed go very mushy. Either I bring kimchi from my parents in Korea or buy from Sydney. If they are too sour too eat, I freeze them and once in a while cook them for kimchi jji ge or kimchi pancake! Are you in KL?

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