Weekend Kimchi Making
Since the middle of February, my husband and I have been cooking mainly Korean food. There are a couple of reasons for this. One reason is that it is far cheaper to cook local food than to try and cook Western style food. Another reason is Korean side dishes contain so many vegetables. So it gets us eating a lot more vegetables than we normally do. However, the last reason, and I think more important reason, is this: my husband is a Korean adoptee.
My husband has expressed his desire to try to integrate into Korean society as much as possible. He wants to really understand Korean life. I am not Korean and I wasn’t sure there was much I could help him on this. However one of the ways I knew I could was with food. I have always had a knack for cooking, and I really enjoy it. So, I thought I’d give Korean cooking a try. A few of the things I started making were 반찬, or side dishes. We’ve made various sides dishes, but I’ve been specifically focusing on kimchi.
Last Saturday I made three types of Kimchi. 깍두기 (radish kimchi), 오이 소박이 (cucumber kimchi), and 파김치 (green onion kimchi). I’ve made radish and green onion kimchi before, however it was my first time making the cucumber kimchi. The first one I made was green onion kimchi. It took quite a bit of time because I had to clean the green onions, but after that it was pretty simple. The green onions had to soak in fish sauce for about half an hour. Then I just combined all the ingredients. Green onion kimchi is much better after fermenting for about two weeks. The onion is also too strong to eat it right away.
I think that radish kimchi is one of the simplest types of kimchi to make. It doesn’t take too long to clean the radish, and after letting the radish soak with salt for 30 minutes, the rest of the ingredients are combined and then it’s done. It is also better to let the radish kimchi ferment for a few days before eating it.
The cucumber kimchi was slightly more complex than the others. I had to cut an X in them, almost all the way through but not quite. Then they had to soak in hot salt water for about an hour. After that, I stuffed each cucumber with the paste I made. The paste consists of chopped green onions and garlic chives, red pepper powder, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, and ginger. The extra work was definitely worth it, the taste is so delicious.
Here we have four types of kimchi in our fridge: cucumber kimchi, green onion kimchi, radish kimchi, and garlic chive kimchi. We made the garlic chive kimchi the week before. This will last us for quite some time, probably three to four weeks.
Since we’ve been making more food like this, both my husband and I have been feeling a lot healthier. I will keep posting about more food as we keep making various side dishes and Korean food.