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How to make kimchi The first few times I tried kimchi it was not, I must admit, my favorite food.

Then I met my Korean-American partner, Gregory, moved in with his mom a super cook and within a few months I was who!!y converted. These days my mouth waters at the s!ightest whiff of pungent, fermented ca age and I"!! eat it with everything from fried rice to dump!ings, summer ro!!s, or, ahem, straight out of the #ar. I sti!! have a !ot to !earn from $om when it comes to kimchi making %there are over a hundred different kinds&' ut this mak kimchi, or simp!e kimchi, recipe has een a great p!ace to start.

(aechu, or napa ca age, kimchi is made y !acto-fermentation, the same process that creates sauerkraut and traditiona! di!! pick!es. In the first stage, the ca age is soaked in a sa!ty rine that ki!!s off harmfu! acteria. In the second stage, the remaining )acto aci!!us acteria %the good guys&' convert sugars into !actic acid, which preserves the vegeta !es and gives them that wonderfu!, tangy f!avor. %If you want to !earn more a out fermentation, I high!y recommend The Art of Fermentation y *andor Kat+.'

,hi!e -uestioning my Korean fami!y and friends a out kimchi, I have received a!! kinds of opinions. *ome cooks swear y a !itt!e it of sugar, others comp!ete!y shun sweeteners. There are peop!e who inc!ude carrots and there are peop!e who wrink!e their noses at the idea. I"m a vegetarian and my mother-in-!aw happi!y makes fishand shrimp-free kimchi for me, ut I"m sure some wou!d consider it !asphemy to !eave out the seafood. %I !ike adding a it of ke!p powder for umami f!avor.' This can e confusing, ut I think it"s actua!!y a good thing. It means that you and your fami!y can make kimchi your own. .e!y on your own sense of sme!! and taste and you"!! end up with a fine atch. Two words of caution from my mother-in-!aw, however/ too much garlic can make the kimchi bitter, and too much ginger can make it sticky. As for the gochugaru, or red pepper powder, ad#ust the amount to your !iking. Kimchi can e mi!d or fiery, it"s your choice.

$ak kimchi, or simp!e kimchi, is made with cut ca age, radish, and sca!!ions and a seasoned paste of red pepper, gar!ic, ginger, sugar, and fish sauce, sa!ted shrimp, or ke!p powder.