For those of you who have never eaten or seen kimchi, this is it. It’s not pretty but it tastes delicious. Recently my lover and I made kimchi which is a traditional Korean dish. Back in British Columbia (where I lived for the past two years prior to moving to the East Coast), there is a fantastic Korean restauarant  off of fifth street in downtown Courtenay called “Hana Korean Restaurant.” They don’t have their own website but I can guarentee it is the best Korean food you can get on Vancouver Island. It was at that tiny restaurant that I discovered kimchi. My lover has lived in Japan and has traveled all through-out Asia so he was already familiar with kimchi and it’s deliciousness (not to mention the health benefits and nutrients). Over the weekend we gathered everything we needed to make a big pot of kimchi to have over the course of the week. It takes about 3-4 days to ferment but once that process is over you can dig in and enjoy kimchi every day for at least a week! The ingredients in kimchi are known for their health properties–this includes garlic which has a high concentration of anti-oxidants and Chili peppers which is loaded with vitamin C. The fermentation process is important because it releases friendly bacteria called bifidobacteria (similar to yogurt) which aids in intestinal health and produces B vitamins including B-12 (which is very beneficial for vegetarians). So without further adieu:

1 head of napa cabbage (Bok Choy is nice too)

1/4 cup sea salt

1 cup cold water

Cut the cabbage into bite size pieces and place in large bowl, sprinkle salt all throughout the leaves and pour in the water. Let stand for 1 hour (stir every 20 minutes) and then drain it really well.

Whilst you’re waiting for that hour, cut up the vegetables:

3 cups cucumber

1/2 cup thinly sliced onion (white onion)

1/3 cup grated carrot

1 cup of radish (if you want) Or any type of soft-ish vegetable you want to add.

2 tbsp Korean coarse red pepper powder (bought at an Asian grocery store)

2 tbsp granulated sugar

2 tsp sea salt

Add all of these ingredients to your cabbage bowl.

In the food processor (or blender), process together:

2 long red hot peppers, chopped

1 thai chili pepper, chopped

3 tbsp chopped garlic

2 tsp chopped ginger

Stir in 4 tsp of white vinegar and 1 tbsp of fish sauce

Chop up four green onions and sprinkle over the whole mixture and then toast some sesame seeds for on top.

Cover and refridgerate (although we let ours sit covered on the counter) for at least 3 hours or for up to 5 days. 3 days is a good amount of time to wait until it’s fermented well!

Serve with steeped Jasmine tea and top it over sticky rice (or use it in a stir fry) and voila!