Have you ever heard of kimchi? Have you ever had any? God it can put you off at first with its funky aroma... I mean, that nasty smell is like a punch in the face! Now if that's not bad ass smell I don't know what is! But trust me, it's a taste that grows on you like a vine looking to crawl up your body and trap you for good... and once you're its prisoner you get hooked to it! So you'll be begging for more...
Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made from fermenting vegetables. The most common one is made with cabbage but you can also find cucumber, radish, and other vegetable kimchi. Korean's serve kimchi at every meal, including breakfast! Which goes to say you can eat kimchi with pretty much anything you like! Plus it's healthy and low in calorie so you don't even have to hold back on the quantity! Personally I sometimes find it a little salty so I like to add some to my salads, on top of rice, with meat or fish... on my eggs in the morning, in my soup, and the list goes on and on.
If you're from Montreal, a great place to go and buy your ingredients is either at the Épicerie Coréenne et Japonaise located at 2109 Ste-Catherine West (close to Atwater) or at Montreal Korean & Japanese Foods located at 6151 Sherbrooke Street West in NDG. I'm sure Kim Phat also has all the ingredients you would need I their 3 different greater Montreal locations!
So I tell you, try to make your own kimchi and see what that nasty stinky smell is all about.
Momofuku's Napa Cabbage Kimchi*
Level : GROWN UP
1 medium Napa Cabbage
2 tbsp sea salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
10 garlic cloves, minced
20 slices of peeled fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup kochukaru (Korean chile powder)
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup usukuchi (light soya sauce)
2 tsp jarred salted shrimp
1/2 cup 1-inch pieces scallions (greens and whites)
Cut the cabbage lengthwise in half, then cut the halves crosswise into 1-inch-wide pieces. Toss the cabbage with the salt and 2 tbsp of the sugar in a bowl. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
Combine the garlic, ginger, kochukaru, fish sauce, soy sauce, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl. If it is very thick, add water 1/3 cup at a time until the brine is just thicker than a creamy salad dressing. Stir in the scallions.
Drain the cabbage and add it to the brine. Cover and refrigerate. Though the kimchi will be tasty after 24 hours, it will be better in a week and at its prime in 2 weeks. It will still be good for another couple weeks after that, though it will grow incrementally stronger and funkier.
*I loosely adapted my kimchi from David Chang's version he does for his Momofuku restaurants.