My first experience with Kimchi was during a trip to Korea where I was visiting my sister who was there teaching English at the time. The spicy fermented side dish was salty, exotic, and ultimately confusing to me. What was it exactly? How is it made? How can I get a taste of Kimchi at home? Lifelong Learning’s Kimchi 101 class on Saturday helped answer some of my questions.
Kimchi, as it turns out, is anything you want it to be! As instructor Vanessa Chang explained, Kimchi is essentially the controlled fermentation of a vegetable. It doesn’t only have to be made from cabbage as I had assumed, but you can make Kimchi from radishes, onions, cucumbers, zucchini, or anything you pull out of your garden.
Beyond vegetables, Kimchi is made with salt, Korean chili powder, sugar, fish sauce, sometimes tiny shrimp, time, and a whole lot of tradition and love. Vanessa peppered her lesson with anecdotes and tips from her mother- delightful tidbits that you can’t get from a written recipe. She demonstrated how to make three different and distinct types of Kimchi which we got to sample (YUM). I left the class with a small jar of my own Kimchi to ferment, and I am excited to watch (and taste) the process at home.
- ½ pound green or spring onions
- ½ tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp Korean chili flakes
- ½ tbsp sugar
- 1 tbspn anchovy sauce
- Spinkle salt over onions and let sit at room temp for 20 minutes.
- Drain liquid.
- Stir together marinade mixture.
- Add the onions to the marinade and let sit for 20 minutes or overnight.
- Consume within one month.