The Kimchee Cookbook: Fiery Flavors and Cultural History of Korea's National Dish
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Korea's favorite food, kim chee is a side dish made by pickling vegetables such as radishes, cabbage, and cucumbers in salt, mixing in seasonings, and allowing the mixture to mature. But kim chee means much more to a Korean. Expressing the very essence of Korean cosmology, it follows a basic code of five colors (green, red, white, black, and yellow) and flavors (salty, spicy, sour, sweet, and bitter) which in turn symbolizes universal directions, actions, and seasonal changes. Rooted in the theory of Yin and Yang, this fermented food is known as an appetite stimulant, as well as for its high vitamin C content and beneficial lactic acid microorganisms. The Kim Chee Cookingbook catalogs 90 recipes for all occasions, from traditional whole cabbage kim chee to gourmet stuffed crab shell kim chee. It also places kim chee in its historical, cultural, and scientific contexts. Illustrated with over 110 sumptuous photographs, it is a fascinating and comprehensive look into Korean cuisine and culture.
TONGCH'IMI Tongch'imi is a traditional midwinter night snack eaten after dinner with noodles.The soaking liquid is often used as a base for cold noodle soup. A kimchee assembled in the same manner as the Whole Cabbage Watery Kimchee (on right). Both vegetables lend themselves admirably t o this sort of fermentation. 1-2 large Napa cabbages, about 4 lb (2 kg) 8 oz (230 g) coarse sea salt 1 gallon (5 liters) water 5 oz (140 g) green chilies, salt-cured 4 oz (115 g) scallions, including roots 2
radishes, 2 lb (1 kg), thinly sliced and julienned 3 oz (85 g) c h o p p e d garlic 2 oz (60 g) c h o p p e d ginger 4 oz (115 g) fermented baby shrimp paste ½ quantity rice porridge (page 41) 3 oz (85 g) red chili p o w d e r 1 oz (30 g) sugar 4 oz (115 g) scallions, split lengthwise and cut into 2 in (5 cm) strips 2 oz (60 g) Chinese leek, cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) lengths 2 oz (60 g) chestnuts, peeled and sliced 1. Trim the ends of the cucumber. Cut into half horizontally. Prepare a brine with
condiment in Korean households. These strong, spicy pickles are served as a condiment and side dish. This kimchee is customarily eaten with meat, fish, and other dishes. 5 1 1 3 1 ¾ lb (2.5 kg) cucumber quart (1.25 liters) water cup coarse sea salt oz (85 g) whole garlic cloves (optional) oz (30 g) red hot dry whole chili (optional) quantity rice porridge (page 41) (optional) 1. Rinse and drain the cucumbers. Place t h e m tightly in a dry container. Weight them down with a heavy plate. 2.
leaves and sprinkle with 1 oz (30 g) salt. Cover and ferment for 3-4 days. year-round kimchee recipes 117 FIRM-HEADED K IM CHE E YANG PAECH'U CABBAGE KOTCHORI This is a different kind of kimchee in that the seasoning sauce can be prepared in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. The kimchee is not fermented but served immediately after preparation. ½ cup fresh red hot chili 1 medium-sized ripe red tomato 1 onion 4 oz (115 g) garlic 2 oz (60 g) ginger 2/3 cup rice porridge (page 41)
was the first book to cover kimchee-making thoroughly. Below: An example of a chabaegi, a broad, round ceramic bowl used for salting vegetables and mixing spices for seasoning kimchee. This multi-purpose vessel usually had handles and was also used to convey foods from one place to another in the kitchen or for washing dishes. C u l t u r a l Above: Kimchee was traditionally stored in different places depending on how long it needed to be fermented and how soon it was to be eaten. A pot of