Among all the things about Korea, Kimchi has definitely got to be number one. It’s like the first thing that comes to my (if not everyone’s) mind if Korea is mentioned. A staple food for Koreans, kimchi is directly referred to as ‘pickled vegetables’. Unlike most of other countries where veges are only pickled with salt, Koreans add chili powder and fish sauce too among other ingredients. By doing so, it gives kimchi a special taste (or ‘weird’ taste for first timers!), but they say it’s healthy, so get use to the taste. In time, it’ll taste like everything else. 🙂
I’m proudly a Malaysian. But since I’m a Korean at heart (lol), making kimchi is definitely something that I must try. The main reason is because I love everything Korean, and I tried to be as Korean as I can (if only that’s possible! haha) but most importantly is that I can’t find kimchi in the supermarket near my place. Even though recently they started selling the kimchi, I wasn’t even tempted to buy it. Until now, I’ve made kimchi about 3 times already and thank Allah, the taste got better by the time the third batch is finished. Well, that’s only according to me and my friend’s taste buds. Hehe. I’m sure if any Koreans eat my kimchi,they’d feel weird about the taste too.
Anyway, there are A LOT of vegetables that can be made into kimchi. The most common is the napa cabbage, which I always use. Cabbage kimchi or baechu kimchi (배추 김치) is also the type of kimchi that’s always featured in Korean dramas. So it’s not your fault if you think of cabbage when kimchi is mentioned. It’s like a generalization. 🙂 Just so you know, radish and cucumber can also be made into kimchi.
If you ask me, the first time I taste kimchi, it did taste weird. And to add to that, I never like sour food. But just like I mentioned before, get use to the taste and one day you’ll find it manageable. But up until now, I can’t eat kimchi on its own. I have to cook it in chigae (soup), fried it with rice or as a side dish with plain hot rice.
Bet I’ll be eating LOADS of kimchi in Seoul. Looking forward to that. ♥