Sunday, January 30, 2011

Yummy Kimchi!

Recently, I started adding a little kimchi to my diet, and now I can't stop! I am eating it everyday and loving it!

If you haven't heard of kimchi before, it's a traditional Korean vegetable dish, made with fermented vegetables and seasonings. The most common kimchi recipes are made with napa cabbage, radish, green onion, or cucumber. It is commonly used as a side dish, added over rice, salads, beans, grains and nori rolls. My favorite way to eat it is with avocado. I may even add a little cooked quinoa to the mix, and even Noa loves it! She eats the kimchi alone! She absolutely loves it, and I am thrilled too!

Not only is kimchi delicious, but it is one of the healthiest foods you can put into your body. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, and contains a number of lactic acid bacteria, including Lactobacillus kimchii. Because of the fermentation process, it is full of probiotics and easy to digest.

After spending 3 years working at Hippocrates Health Institute (HHI), I became accustomed to eating sauerkraut daily, which is another fermented food made with finely shredded cabbage. I liked that the sauerkraut was made right there in the HHI kitchen. Once I stopped working there 2 years ago, I also stopped eating fermented vegetables on a regular basis. But once I started adding them to my diet again, I realized how important they were to my overall health!

Kimchi and sauerkraut are also super easy to make! You can find recipes online, or you can try this recipe from our friend Ani Phyo and her book Ani's Raw Food Essentials:

Napa Cabbage Kimchi
By Ani Phyo
Makes about 8 cups
Pickling time: 2 to 3 days

1 napa cabbage, cut crosswise into 2-inch chunks

1/2 medium-size daikon radish, peeled and cut into quarters lengthwise, then 1/2-inch-thick chunks
2 tablespoons sea salt

1/2 cup water

2 green onions, sliced into 2-inch lengths

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon Korean chili powder

Place the cabbage and daikon pieces in a large mixing bowl.
Place the salt and water in a separate small bowl, mix to dissolve. Pour over the vegetables. Set aside at room temperature overnight to soften.

The next day, drain, reserving the saltwater the vegetables were soaked in. Add the green onions, garlic, ginger, and chili powder to the cabbage mixture, and mix well.
Tightly pack the mixture into a 1/2-gallon glass jar with a lid. Pour the saved saltwater into the jar, leaving 1 inch of space at the top. Tightly close the lid. Leave the jar in a cool, dark place for 2 to 3 days (depending on the termperature and how pickled or fermented you want your kimchi). Refrigerate after opening. Will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.

I am looking forward to making Ani's kimchi recipe soon, and we will be posting a video of it on The Raw Life Health Show too! But before I get in the kitchen to start experimenting, I make sure I keep a few jars of Sunja's Kimchi in the fridge. I found Sunja's Kimchi at Whole Foods, and it contains only natural ingredients, and it is raw too. I am hoping I can make my kimchi taste as delicious. And according to Ani, her Korean recipe is truly authentic. I will keep you all updated, and let me know if any of you try to make it too!


Rebekah said...

I was just wondering if this is safe to leave setting out for several days without refrigerating? I would love to try it. Could I put it in the refrigerator to ferment? Just wondering.. I have always enjoyed healthy things, but have never tried fermented stuff. Thanks!

Andrea Nison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrea Nison said...

Hi Rebekah! It is definitely safe, and should be left out at room temperature for a few days to ferment, and until you like the taste. Then refrigerate after you open it.

Olivia said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe with us!

Anonymous said...

I had heard that kimchi was fermented in the ground for several months and it totally grossed me out. This recipe doesn't sound too terrible... I might be willing to try it. But, I'm still wondering about the texture. :) I'll let you know if we brave it. :)

rawlumi said...

My 15 month old toddler eats sauerkraut and she really likes it better than steamed sweetpotato. She has atopy and pricktest showed egg allergy. I wonder if she could heal entirely by eating rawfood?

I still breastfeed her and that brings along a second question about health benefits of breastfeeding since I have several amalgam fillings. Is it still better to breastfeed than give her raw goatmilk?

Eija from Finland

Andrea Nison said...

Hi Eija!

It is definitely better for your baby to keep breastfeeding!

I would not be too concerned about feeding different foods if you are able to breastfeed full-time.

And I definitely think that raw foods will help with her allergies. Her immune system has not yet fully developed, so that may be a reason she has atopy.

That is great that she likes sauerkraut too!

I would introduce new foods separately, and maybe give her the same new food for a few days and see if she has any reaction.

Haley McAdams said...

I like spicy foods. Maybe that's why I fancy Korean Cuisine. I haven't tried any Kimchi recipe before because it takes time to make it according to recipe blogs out there. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I'll definitely make one for our Korean Night.

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