Kimchi With Mom

Finished Product

Finished Product

A little about myself: I am the product of a petite, slanty eyed Korean lady and blond haired, blue-eyed beach bum. 

Umma (mom in Korean) 

Umma (mom in Korean) 

Because I was born and raised in the good ol’ USA I’m always trying to connect to my Korean heritage.  And nothing seems more Korean than making kimchi with my umma (Korean for mom).  I imagine my umma and I squatting down next to a giant plastic container filled with head after head of salted cabbage.  Together we are lovingly stuffing each individual Napa cabbage leaf with a little of the salty spice mixture that will alter the humble vegetable into the highly esteemed Korean side dish.

The reality is that my mom doesn’t make kimchi; I had to google to recipe.  I’ve learned more about Korean cookery from maangchi.com than I have from my mom.  But it’s the spirit of the activity that counts.  The ritual of kimchi making is what connects my mom and I to all the little old kimchi-making grannies that have come before us.  I know that as my umma and I google our way through the process, we are making our ancestors proud.

(Kimchi is the national food of Korea; eaten with breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Essentially it is Korean pickled vegetables.  The most common variety is made from Napa cabbage.  Think Asian sauerkraut.  How would one go about Asia-ifying sauerkraut?  Just add all the usual suspects: garlic, ginger, scallions (cut on a bias of course), fish sauce…  you get the picture.) I used the recipe found here: http://www.koreanbapsang.com/2012/01/baechu-kimchi-napa-cabbage-kimchi.html

 

Nappa Cabbage Kimchi

Nappa Cabbage Kimchi