Korean Food - Bae Chu Kim Chi - The Original Kim Chi
Depending on how you spell it Kim Chi or Kim Chee is pretty much the national food of Korea. It is a staple in the daily lives of Koreans the world over. It is generally eaten at every meal as what we Americans would call a side dish and to the Koreans it is call "Banchan" and is usually eaten with rice or anything else for that matter. Kim Chi is used in other dishes besides being used as a side dish. As an example, Kim Chi is used as an ingredient is stews,(Kim Chi-Jigae) and soups,(Kim Chi-guk) and even in pancakes! Yes!, I said pancakes,(Kim Chi jigeakimchi-jeon, or Korena pancake) Now matter how you slice it Kim Chi has many uses in the Korean and American diet and has many facets for use!
Basically, Kim Chi is made by either soaking or salting cabbage. Most anykind of cabbage will do, Chinese cabbage,(bok choy, baby bok choy or gai choy or even gai lan) or Napa cabbage, a mild green cabbage and the most common used in the American household to make Kim chi recipes. So, the cabbage salted or soaked in salt water and a paste is made for the cabbage out of ginger and garlic and these two ingredients are often mixed with daikon and then mixed with Korean red chili powder that is coarsely ground. Some people prefer using a fine powder, but believe me the coarse powder is preferred.
Some Koreans and Americans alike will also in some cases make a rice flour glue as a thickener to hold the other ingredients to the cabbage as it ferments. The fermentation process takes part underground, because the Kim Chi is put in earthenware pots called (Calledonggi) and buried for a time to ferment slowly.This basic method however is only for the most basic of Kim Chi recipe. There are many different kinds of Kim Chi recipe and they are made with different kinds of vegetables and spices and each region Korea has there own way and specialties in making Kim Chi. Gauranteed, every family in Korea has there own family recipe and tradition in making Kim Chi. Many Koreans are so staunch about their Kim Chi recipes that they own special refrigerators specifically designed for storing Kim Chi. This is because Kim Chi has to be kept at a certain temperature in order for it to be preserved the longest and keep it's freshness.
Korean Kim Chi is one of the healthiest foods a person can eat these days. It is loaded with vitamin C from the chili pepper powder and blood cleanser in the form of garlic which also has antibiotic properties and well as immune boosting properties from an element in the garlic called "allicin." Kim Chi is loaded with digestive enzymes from the ginger in it which is a digestive and also allows your circulation to go all the way to the end of your extremities. It is also packed with lots of fermented energy which comes from the use of rice vinegar and fish sauce if you use it in your Kim Chi recipe the way I use it in mine.
There are many types of Kim Chi out there like Oi-sobagi, which is a stuffed cucumber Kim Chi which is generally served during the spring and summer times. Yeolmu-kimchi, which is a radish Kim Chi recipe and it is also served during the spring and summer seasons. Pa-kimchi, this is a spicy Kim Chi recipe that is made with lots of anchovies and allowed to ferment and used ripened scallions or green onions and is very popular. These are just some of the Kim Chi recipes that one can make at home if they wish. The one's mentioned here are a bit advanced, but that's OK! Bae Chu Kim Chi is THE most popular winter Kim Chi in Korea and is easy to make at home with just some cabbage spices and chili pepper. If you would like to learn how to make Bae Chu Kim Chi then please visit: Korean Food-Bae Chu Kim Chi-The Original Kim Chi Recipe today!