I went to Iowa last week to a friends bbq. He made some kimchi and gave me a jar. Topped a burger tonight with it.
Kimchi is a national Korean dish consisting of fermented chili peppers and vegetables, usually based on cabbage. It is suspected that the name kimchi originated from shimchae (salting of vegetable) which went through some phonetic changes: shimchae > dimchae > kimchae > kimchi.
Common ingredients include Chinese cabbage, radish, garlic, red pepper, spring onion, ginger, salt, and sugar. While kimchi is generally identified internationally as Chinese cabbage fermented with a mixture of red pepper, garlic, ginger, and salted fish sauce, several types of kimchi exists, including regional and seasonal variations. There are variants, including kkakdugi, based on radish and containing no cabbage.
Kimchi has been cited by Health Magazine as one of the world's five "healthiest foods", with the claim that it is rich in vitamins, aids digestion, and may even prevent cancer. The health properties of kimchi are due to a variety of factors. It is usually made with cabbage, onions, and garlic, all of which have well-known health benefits. It also has active and beneficial bacterial cultures, like yogurt. Lastly, kimchi contains liberal quantities of red chili peppers (gochugaru) which has been suggested to have health benefits as well.
The best tasting kimchi is stored in room temperature for an average of six months to reach its full flavor. It is a popular side dish but is also often used as an ingredient in cooking other popular Korean dishes.
My family stays out of the Room a couple hours after I eat a bowl full and wash it down with a couple beers. It is very versatile, good cold as a Salad, sauteed as a hot veg, Kimchi Soup is great and Kimchi makes for a really good Stir Fry with Shrimp or Chicken over Rice. Search " Easy Kimchi " on Maangchi.c@m's Web site. It takes about 2 hours or so to assemble and some of the ingredients you have to get from an Asian market or on-line but two large heads of Napa Cabbage, 10Lbs, makes about 2 gallons plus it only gets better with age!...JJ
The "Easy Kimchi" on Maangchi's web site is a wonderful place to start. Kimchi can be consumed immediately or fermented for years. The choice is up to you. Actually if you are eating fermented kraut, you are eating kimchi. The ingredients and uses are endless and the health benefits are many. The aroma can be controlled by the ingredients.
Below left you will see my stockpile of kimchi.
When making my kimchi, the kimchi is left at room temperature until the fermentation process is started, two to three days, then put in a cooler environment 50° - 60° for a couple weeks then refrigerated until consumed.
you sir are a inspiration. never thought of it. my wife being asian, we keep kimchi around the house. i'm thinking some carmelized onions and hickory smoked montery jack with some fresh lettuce.