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Photo: Maangchi

Kimchi comes in almost as many forms as there are vegetables because nearly any vegetable can be fermented. They range from super mild smell to mega funky and mellow to melt-your-face-off spicy and there is one for every possible point in between.

Here are a couple of fun kimchi recipe facts:

-Health Magazine named kimchi one of it’s Top 5 World’s Healthiest Foods.

-Kimchi is low in calories and high in dietary fiber.

-It’s wicked high in Vitamins A, B, and C.

-It’s also incredibly low in fat.

-Many (if not most) Koreans eat a little kimchi with each meal or at least once a day.

-Kimchi is credited with helping most Koreans avoid obesity by virtue of its ability to satisfy even while being low calorie and low fat.

-Seoul National University conducted a study and claimed that chickens infected with the H5N1 virus, also called avian flu, recovered after eating food containing the same cultured bacteria found in kimchi, according to foodiewithfamily.

Ingredients to make Kimchi

All you really need is a knife, a cutting board, and a big bowl. You will need a couple of ingredients that you may not have purchased before, but never fear, they’re not hard to find these days

Original recipe yields 20 servings

Directions to make Kimchi

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Photo: foodiewithfamily

Cut the cabbage leaves into 2 inch long pieces. Spread 1/4 of the leaves into a large, non-metallic bowl and sprinkle with 1/4 of the salt. Repeat layering all of the cabbage has been salted. Let stand at room temperature until a lot of liquid has been pulled from the leaves and the cabbage is tender, 3 to 4 hours; drain. Rinse the cabbage in 2 or 3 changes of water. Drain again very well and return the cabbage to the mixing bowl.

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Photo: Foodiewithfamily

Sprinkle the cabbage with the minced garlic, green onions, MSG, and red pepper flakes. Season to taste with additional salt and toss until evenly combined. Pack the mixture into a sterilized gallon-sized glass jar. Cover the jar with wax paper and a loose fitting lid so the seal is not airtight.

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Photo: foodiewithfamily

Allow the cabbage to ferment at room temperature until it reaches the desired degree of sourness, 2 to 5 days. Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator, cites allrecipes.

Glass canning jars is recommended, if you’re wondering, because they don’t retain odors like plastic does, and, well, this stuff is odiferous!

Gently place a lid and ring on the jar, but don’t screw it tightly into place because BOOM. It’ll pop. This is active stuff, mes amies!

Place the jar on a rimmed pan or baking dish. The rim is pretty crucial here, because as the kimchi ferments at room temperature (and more slowly but still actively in the refrigerator) it will bubble up and may release a little juice over the edge of the jars.

In other words, you could have a kimchi river a-flowin’ on your counter top unless you take precautions. It’s easiest to use the pan and not worry about your Easy, Fast Kimchi recipe {Mak Kimchi} bubbling over onto your counters.

It’s going to spend a couple of days at room temperature getting bubbly and fragrant. Every day, you’ll insert a clean chopstick or butterknife into the jar to help release air bubbles and top the jar off with extra brine if needed to keep everything submerged.

When it’s almost carbonated looking (usually between 24-72 hours after packing the jars), it’s ready to refrigerate. I highly recommend refrigerating it on the tray you used to contain the Grand Kimchi River while it fermented.

Now you’ll CRAM this stuff into jars or food-safe plastic containers. When I say cram it, I mean shove it in there as firmly as you can without putting your fist through the bottom of the jar.

How long can I keep kimchi?

It’s ready to eat at that point! Of course, it gets stronger and more kimchi-y the longer it sits. I love cooking with the older stuff and eating the newer stuff ‘raw’.

One of my all-time best-loved ways to eat older kimchi is in pancake form. Not like Aunt Jemima pancakes or flapjacks, but savoury, crispy-edged, kimchi-studded, pan-fried, snack cakes that convert even die-hard kimchi skeptics.

It’s the only way my eldest likes kimchi, but OH how he loves it this way. And the smell of kimchi pancakes while they cook is irresistible.

Bonus: This stuff lasts just about forever when you make sure the veggies are submerged in the brine. It’s hard to go wrong.

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