Thursday, June 23, 2011


Kimchi is truly one of my favourite things.

When I was a teenager a lovely korean family came to live next to us, the lady was really sweet and would come over to bring us korean foods and show us how to cook simple recipes in our kitchen. Sadly they moved to the US but before she left she emptied out her pantry and gave us a lot of stuff, from the delicious red pepper flakes to sesame seeds, her knife set and a container of homemade kimchi which she instructed us to keep in the fridge.

It was absolutely delicious! From that day on I was hooked but I didn't know what it was called.

Wasn't until I was at a Korean BBQ restaurant and they brought out the little plates of condiments that I remembered it. Hooray!

I've purchased some here and there but nothing compared to hers. Also the commercial kinds are quite expensive for the tiny quantities and I found that the flavour of garlic in many brands was a little too overpowering for me (and I LOVE garlic!) ... so I set out to make some myself as soon as I discovered this recipe.

In the recipe it mentions using turkish red pepper flakes, now this brought back memories of that same building and our other neighbours who were turkish! (Turkey is closer to my culture but their peppers are truly unique throughout the region) so, yes, right next to that bag of korean red pepper flakes in our freezer was a bag of TURKISH RED PEPPER FLAKES, both delicious with hints of heat but distinct in their own way.

* Having lived in turkey for a while in my childhood I remembered the abundance of it and how it was a main spice in most of the dishes prepared so I set out to buy some turkish red pepper flakes just for the heck of it from a turkish grocer and now that is also stored away in my freezer*

Perhaps in my next batch of kimchi (if all goes well) I will introduce the turkish red pepper flakes to the korean kimchi and see how that turns out, maybe then some harissa (north african chili paste) may be a nice twist too! What fun will that be.

Ok so back to Korea and kimchi.... it was pretty straight forward and simple.

Follow the recipe link above if you'd like to give it a try, one warning though as I learned through my mistake: When I soaked the cabbage in the salted water I placed a plate (or in my case the lid that fit the casserole pan in upside down) and weighed it down.

For some reason overnight the water had risen and overflowed out of the casserole and onto the counter and down onto the floor creating a puddle of salted water in the middle of my kitchen floor. Still not sure what happened but it would be safer to place your bowl in the sink or into another shallow pan.

Best of luck and I will post the progress very soon!


Sarah E. Hoffman said...

So cool! I've been meaning to buy some of this stuff - but making it is even better!

Candace Lynn Grubbs said...

i want to try this i always see it at the store

Amatullah said...

Sarah, that's so true, the next best thing is making it. Of course the first best thing is knowing a korean family who can give you some ;) hehe. I miss my neighbours, her kimchi was amazing!

Candace, if you like spicy food and most pickles and condiments I'm sure you'll love kimchi! Give it a try, it's addictive and makes a plain bowl of rice totally delectable. I'm going to taste mine soon so I'll do an updated post about how it turned out.