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Kimchi Query: To rot is naught. (Humor & Recipe)

From Esther Maxwell — Blog by
December 18, 2012

Dear La-te-da:
A once dreaded, now favorite, Kimchi has always been not only a favorite since the beginning of time, but a part of life; I must eat this to live. So, what is this about Kimchi being a “rotten” cabbage? Made with Fish Sauce? Hardly, it is a misconception adopted by Western “traditions”, or moreso abrupt conclusions through association of smells; so, death? To ferment is to denature components of a resource, whereas rotting is the decomposition or decay, for better choice of words, of a resource.

“Kimchi is rotten cabbage?” negative, “red rider,” to rot is naught. The article not only entails it as being a very healthful and tasty product of Korea, it is most certainly not rotten, and its versatility speaks for itself; Kimchi stew; Kimchi ramen; savory pancakes and crepes; sweet piquant sauces; the amalgamation of desserts. The possibilities are almost endless with this dish and creative, or not, chefs and cooks of the world. So, it is obvious and undoubtfully correct to say Kimchi is not rotten cabbage, it is a pickled item; who in god’s name would eat rotten cabbage. The article, with a bit of humor as is suiting, and informativeness does not only interest readers at sight of topic--Kimchi: Rotten Cabbage Made with Fish Sauce?!-- it’s a good time to read and clears out any confusion preventing people from trying something “new.” Down with reluctance and long live revelation of Food.

Currently, I am studying and finishing with my BA in Science at Johnson & Wales, with a focus in food writing and event planning. Enclosed is a sample of my work as well as photos to accompany. I do intend to continue writing about food, in what ever manner I feel, and possibly make a “retirement job” out of it; there’s never a such thing as retirement from food.

Thank you for the time and hope to have gotten some laughs from you.

Looking forward,
Esther E. Maxwell
1416 Green Oaks Lane apt 5
Charlotte, NC, 28205
Eun.Maxwell@gmail.com

Kimchi Recipe

  • 1 Large Nappa Cabbage
  • 1.5 c pure sea salt --do not ever use iodized or table salt.
  • 1.25 Qt water
  • 1.5 T glutinous rice powder
  • 1 c Korean chilli powder
  • 1/4 c Korean small pickled shrimp or anchovie & shrimp paste (seh-oo-jeot)
  • 5 Green Onions, cut at bias in 1/4” pieces
  • 1/4 Sweet Yellow Onion, julienne
  • 1 Small Daikon Radish, half pureed, other half julienne
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 1” cube of ginger, grated
  • 1 Large Ripe Korean Pear or Asian pear, half pureed, other half
    julienne
  1. In mixing bowl, add water and 1/2 c salt, dissolve.
  2. Split Nappa cabbage in two pieces, cut out the bottom of core without
    completely removing to leave Nappa cabbage in one whole piece, and submerge
    in water for 4.5-5.5 hours, or until leaves can be bent without snapping.
  3. While waiting, make glutinous rice paste by adding 1/2 water and 1.5-2 T of
    glutinous rice powder on medium heat, continuously mixing until thick and
    bubbly. Remove from heat to cool.
  4. Peel and julienne half of daikon radish and pear, and slicing green onion.
  5. Begin to combine grated ginger, yellow onion, garlic, half of the pear and
    daikon radish, chili powder, and shrimp or fish paste in blender until
    smooth. Add cooled rice paste to mixture, and combine julienne daikon, pear,
    and green onion until combined.
  6. Remove cabbage from water, drain and squeeze out as much water as possible.
    Sprinkle with salt, until just covering core and more lightly as you
    move outward.
  7. Coat each leaf with paste mixture, ensuring to coat each leaf, one by one.
    Store in airtight container in cool and dark area for 2-3 days, until it has
    a light, soft crunch. Store in refrigerator at minimum 40 degrees F. Enjoy!

Tip: The key, or moreso Holy Grail to best Kimchi is using earthenware or clay pots; the natural minerals in the clay transform the flavor into a beautiful kimchi. Mason jars are workable, too, if you don’t have any earthenware.

P.S. During cold seasons, Kimchi can be stored outside, in a controlled environment where nothing will harm it, for the first two to three days.

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