During my exchange in South-Korea I came in contact with kimchi (= fermented Chinese cabbage). Kimchi tastes salty, sour, spicey, garlickey, fishy… It doesn’t sound very tasty now I am describing it. But it is something I have come to like.
How it all started
My first meal in South-Korea was at Sinseon Seolnongtang in Hongdae. They serve ox soup.
The nice ajummas (ladies) took my order and helped me cut kimchi, which was laying in buckets hidden in the table.
The kimchi tasted sour and weird for me, so I only took a few pieces as you can see in the before and after photos.
But, it was the start of eating a lot of kimchi: Chinese cabbage, radish kimchi, white kimchi, cucumber kimchi. My favorite one is the radish kimchi, nice and crunchy, a little bit sweet, sour and salty.
After 4 months I had come to like kimchi. When I returned back to the Netherlands I wanted to eat it again, so I made it myself. I learned it from Maangchi from YouTube. The first time I made it, it was too salty. I didn’t wash off the salt after the salting fase.
It sort of tasted like the kimchi of South-Korea, but I didn’t let it ferment enough, so it was not very sour.
After that I made kimichi multiple times and it has become better and better. Soon I will make a batch again and then I will photograph my progress and post the recipe here. Though my recipe is a spinoff of Maangchi’s recipe, for example I don’t use any squid, and I usually use 1 Chinese cabbage instead of a lot.
I wonder if there is a kimchi restaurant? All the menu dishes use kimchi as ingredient. Kimchi stews… kimchi pancake, kimchi rice, kimchi noodles.. mmm…
Must be very garlicky…