Don´t say cheese say Kimchi

Every year there are new buzz words and buzz phrases in the foodie world."gut health" is the term that´s set to be the heart of the health world in 2017. Its going to be a blessing that I like cabbage. Healthy digestion is so important, yet often taken for granted—until something goes wrong as in my case. Gastrointestinal woes can wreak havoc on your life. This year is the year I have promised myself that I am going to get my gastrointestinal system in tip top shape.How can I do this? - with a little help from Korea and the Portuguese explorers of the 16th century.This is all about pickling and fermenting and so kimchi, kombucha and yucatan pickles (more on that story later) are going become a major part of my foods du jour.Gut-friendly foods like these are thought to help with irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, fertility, immunity, low energy and libido.
When we as English are taking photographs, in order to induce a smile in our subject we get them to say cheese.In Korea on the photographers count of 1,2,3  the person being photographed says Kimchi.Like the word cheese, mouthing the word kimchi also makes a person smile.Try it with me, say Kim-ch’i- but prolong the pronuncation of ‘-chi’ as ‘cheee.’ Snap happy aside, Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made of seasoned vegetables and salt. Koreans eat it at nearly every meal. It can be fresh, served straight away like a salad, or packed into a large glass jar, (be sure not to seal the lids) and left to ferment at room temperature overnight, then chill. It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks - the flavour will improve the longer it's left. While the most popular variety is spicy kimchi made of cabbage, there are hundreds of different types of kimchi made of different vegetables, and not all of them spicy.
In traditional preparations, kimchi was stored underground in jars to keep cool and unfrozen during the winter months,nowadays the refrigerator does the same job more effectively
Pickles and ferments ignite your tastebuds,such fun, and while most people picture a vermilion hue and fiery heat when the word "kimchi" is mentioned,it used to be white before chilli peppers were introduced to Asia from the New World by the Portuguese in the 16th century.
Kimchi (or kimchee) is loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, but its biggest benefit may be in its "healthy bacteria" called lactobacilli, found in other fermented foods like  yogurt.
Maybe 2017 will also give us some happy kimchee smiley faces replacing that tiresome "facebook pout" that we´ve been having to put up with for the last year.
In this quick and easy recipe the vegetables are mixed with rice vinegar, fish sauce, chilli paste and sugar, so all ingredients you can easily source. Serve it as a side dish, salad or with rice or noodles.
1 Chinese cabbage
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2.5cm /1 in piece ginger grated
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp sriracha sauce or chilli paste
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
3tbsp rice vinegar
8 radishes coarsely grated or equivalent amount daikon
2 carrots,cut into matchsticks
4 spring onions finely shredded
Slice the cabbage into 2.5cm strips.Tip into a bowl, massage with your hands 1 tablespoon Flor de sal into the cabbage.sprinkle with some still spring water (not tap) press downn with aplate and set aside for 1 to 2 hours.
To make the kimchi paste,blend the garlic,ginger,fish sauce,sriracha sauce,sugar and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.
Rinse the cabbage under cold running water,drain and dry thoroughly.Transfer to a large mixing bowl and toss through the paste (you may need gloves for this?).Add the grated radishes,carrot and spring onions. Serve immediately or pack into a large jar, (not a kilner) and leave to ferment at room temperature overnight, then chill.Kimchi will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks,it´s flavour improving the longer its left.


  1. Just out of interest, why not a kilner jar? Will it explode?

    1. yes there is apossibility.Kimchi also needs some air to help in the fermentation process.a screw top jar can be used as long as its not screwed too tightly.Its not a bad idea to sit whatever jar you use in a bowl or on a tray in case of any leakage.


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