Food + Wine

HimChi

And, with our Steamed Pork Buns for mama’s birthday dinner party, we served… homemade Kimchi!

Well, he home-made kimchi.  He, being my loverly husband.

Him.

My sweet, sweet Him, who makes my life just so much better.  Who breathes new life and energy into my world every day and who I am so incredibly lucky to have snagged in college when I certainly wasn’t making any other smart decisions.

Him.

Him fluffs my Chi.

HimChi

Ok, back to cabbage.

So, if you aren’t familiar with kimchi, it is a Korean side dish of fermented vegetables… usually napa cabbage based.  It is Korea’s national dish.  And it’s served with pretty much everything.  I loooove it. The first time I had kimchi, I was living out in LA and a group of us went to eat Korean Barbecue in K Town.  It was an old, loud and raggedy joint with no A/C… it was the dead of summer, the doors were wide open and fans working overtime, blaring at every corner… we were all sweating through our clothes.  But the beer was cold, the meat marbled, and this strange and enticing bowl of spicy cabbage on the table had me hooked.  The food was incredible.  All of it.  Nobody there spoke a word of English… the tables were crammed so close together, you were pretty much all at one… the menus were large, laminated, and picture-led.  I was in HEAVEN.  It is one of my most memorable food experiences of all my life.

(Thanks again, Tate!!!)

But kimchi is salty, spicy, a little sour, a little sweet… it has a really unique flavor to it.  It’s like pickled vegetables, or really briny coleslaw… but better.

Because umami.

Also, there’s ton of health benefits to kimchi, it being a fermented food and all.  I’ll give you a quick rundown on the whole fermentation process and it’s benefits. K?

So, kimchi is made by lacto-fermentation, which is how you make sauerkraut and (traditional/old school) dill pickles… the veggies are first soaked in a salty brine that washes away any of the bad bacteria, leaving behind just the good guys- the lactobacillus bacteria… which converts the sugars into lactic acid… which preserves the veggies and gives them that unique, tangy flavor.

Consuming fermented foods is so very integral to overall health and wellness (yogurt is perhaps the most commonly consumed fermented food, but even the best varieties of yogurt have only a few strains of bacteria… as opposed to the bazillion that kimchi has).  They are jam-packed with beneficial microorganisms, a.k.a. the good bacteria.  So, you eat these fermented foods, these beneficial microorganisms, this good bacteria, and it goes straight to your gut.  Because, ya know, that’s where food goes… And it just starts doing some busy work in there.  That good bacteria begins to help you absorb more of the nutrients from the foods you’re eating, it helps balance out the production of stomach acid, and it’s believed to fight cancer.

Did you know that your gut is home to about 85% of your immune system…?

Think about that for a minute… that is almost all of your body- 85%- being responsible for your health and well being.  Incredible, right?  Now, think about all the crap our gut has to deal with (pun intended), all the not-so-great junky junk we feed it.  And now think about that 85%.  Think about how hard our system has to work to keep us alive and well if we’re not feeding it well.  Maybe that’s why we’re so tired?  Worn down?  Sick?

So if you eat and drink more things that cater to that particular part, then you’re doing your body a whole lotta good.  Anything with probiotics… and I’m not just talking about those pills you can buy.  I mean the things that are literally alive, just waiting to do their magic work on your body.  Yogurt (but read your labels!!), kefir, kombucha, kimchi… If you start to incorporate more of these living and downright magical super foods into your diet, your body will thank you.

You will feel it.

I promise.

The whole ‘you are what you eat’ thing is much more powerful now, huh?

So in a sense, this kimchi really is like a miracle food.  It has life.  It has energy.

The word Chi in Chinese means aliveness…. life force energy…. life breath….

In India, it’s called prana.

Energy.

Alive.

Chi.

We all just need more of that.  In any way, shape, or form.  We all need to find ways to feel more… alive.

Yes?

This kimchi began as something so simple- just some vegetables and various seasonings and spices… then after time, magic happens – this new life and energy is created, and you’re left with a whole new being.  What an incredible concept… the simple idea of letting time create something new and different.

That takes a lot of pressure off of us, if you think about it.  Because if we can just sit back and rely on time and the energy around us to take the reigns more, if we stopped stressing about every. little. thing.  And damnit- if we all’d just start eating more magic superhero foods like this here kimchi…we’d all just feel a whole lot better.

And isn’t that the point?

Let’s do more good to feel more good.

K?

HOMEMADE PAECHU KIMCHI

or napa cabbage kimchi

makes 1 1/2 quarts

Follow David Chang’s recipe

My Him didn’t add the brine shrimp, but we still had amazing results.

Also, order your kochukaru (Korean chili flakes) HERE on Amazon.

Also, I played around with using the leftovers… maybe I’ll share something soon 😉

Thanks for reading, y’all. Enjoy your weekend!! xo

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