Saturday, February 11, 2006

Saturday, 11 February 2006 - Homemade kimchi

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for homemade kimchi.

Our palates prefer very hot and spicy ethnic foods. So, when I bought a packet of ground habanero chili pepper, I expected to use it in nearly every dish I cooked. Well, I soon learned the hard way that ground habanero chili pepper is extraordinarily hot. A pinch here and there is all we can tolerate.

Today, I made a batch of kimchi from fresh, organic bok choy. We both love this spicy, fermented Korean relish. Although I am Japanese, I grew up eating kimchi. My husband ate it daily during his Peace Corps stint in South Korea. Since kimchi is so expensive at the natural foods store (over $5 for a pint jar), I began making it from scratch.

To "kick it up another notch" (as Emeril would say), I added a generous 1/2 teaspoon of the habanero powder to the salted bok choy, red chili pepper flakes, ginger, minced garlic and thinly sliced green onions. After mixing everything together, I tasted the concoction. Wow. It was very hot, spicy, salty and delicious.

Unfortunately, the kimchi must ferment for about two days before it's ready to eat. We're counting down the hours.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


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