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"Where better to care for the soul than in the details of our daily lives?....The soul has an absolute, unforgiving need for regular excursions into enchantment. It requires them like the body needs food and the mind needs thought... An enchanted world is one that speaks to the soul, to the mysterious depths of the heart and imagination where we find value, love and union with the world around us. As mystics of many religions have taught, that sense of rapturous union can give a sense of fulfillment that makes life purposeful and vibrant." ~ Thomas Moore.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Making Kimchi

Hello Everyone,

Today I want to share something that I find to be extremely beneficial as a living food. The Asian people make this and eat it extensively. In our parts of the world we can recognize a version of it as what is called German sauerkraut, but this Kimchi is a Korean way of making it which is far more flavorful and is eaten with almost every meal. Their version is also very very very HOT or spicy as it is referred to but I like to be accurate: ''hot'' is peppery hot, and ''spicy'' is flavorful with many spices. Korean Kimchi is HOT!
But mine is not.

But you do NOT have to use any peppers or cayenne at all, I do it because I like it, but do what you like!

But Kimchi is alive or a living food because it has been fermented and is full of positive bacteria, which we need very much especially we here in the western parts of the world, where most of our foods are imported and whose nutrients are killed by processing, irradiating and packaging etc etc.
Kimchi is known in Korea for keeping obesity at bay, it is such a powerful living food digester. I think most Americans can benefit from this, as our digestion as been severely compromised as demonstrated by the very high levels of obesity in our country.....and the most common ailments are digestive, colon and abdomen disorders not just from the dead foods we eat every day, but from anti biotics and other drugs which compromise our natural bacterias and enzymes forever, yes forever. So we need to replace them as an eating discipline.

Some comments about Kim Chee from the internet:

Koreans eat so much of this super-spicy condiment (40 pounds of it per person each year) that natives say “kimchi” instead of “cheese” when getting their pictures taken. The reddish fermented cabbage (and sometimes radish) dish—made with a mix of garlic, salt, vinegar, chile peppers, and other spices—is served at every meal, either alone or mixed with rice or noodles. And it’s part of a high-fiber, low-fat diet that has kept obesity at bay in Korea. Kimchi also is used in everything from soups to pancakes, and as a topping on pizza and burgers.

Why to try it: Kimchi (or kimchee) is loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, but its biggest benefit may be in its “healthy bacteria” called lactobacilli, found in fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt. This good bacteria helps with digestion, plus it seems to help stop and even prevent yeast infections, according to a recent study. And more good news: Some studies show fermented cabbage has compounds that may prevent the growth of cancer.


Different types of kimchi were traditionally made at different times of the year, based on when various vegetables were in season and also to take advantage of hot and cold seasons before the era of refrigeration. Although the advent of modern refrigeration — including kimchi refrigerators specifically designed with precise controls to keep different varieties of kimchi at optimal temperatures at various stages of fermentation — has made this seasonality unnecessary, Koreans continue to consume kimchi according to traditional seasonal preferences.

Dongchimi  is largely served during winter.

After a long period of consuming gimjang kimchi during the winter, fresh potherbs and vegetables were used to make kimchi. These kinds of kimchi were not fermented or even stored for long periods of time but were consumed fresh.

Summer radishes and cucumbers are summer vegetables made into kimchi, yeolmu kimchi  which is eaten in several bites. Brined fish or shellfish can be added, and freshly ground dried chili peppers are often used.

Baechu kimchi is prepared by inserting blended stuffing materials, called sok (literally inside), between layers of salted leaves of uncut, whole Napa cabbage. The ingredients of sok can vary, depending on the different regions and weather conditions. Generally, baechu kimchi used to have a strong salty flavor until the late 1960s when a large amount of myeolchijeot or saeujeot had been used.

Traditionally, the greatest varieties of kimchi were available during the winter. In preparation for the long winter months, many types of kimjang kimchi were prepared in early winter and stored in the ground in large kimchi pots. Today, many city residents use modern kimchi refrigerators offering precise temperature controls to store kimjang kimchi. November and December are traditionally when people begin to make kimchi; women often gather together in each other's homes to help with winter kimchi preparations.[15] "Baechu kimchi" is made with salted baechu filled with thin strips of radish, parsley, pine nuts, pears, chestnuts, shredded red pepper, garlic, and ginger.
Nutrition and health

South Koreans consume 40 pounds of kimchi per person annually, and many credit their nation's rapid economic growth in part to eating the dish.Kimchi is made of various vegetables and contains a high concentration of dietary fiber,] while being low in calories. One serving also provides over 50% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C and carotene. Most types of kimchi contain onions, garlic, and chilli peppers, all of which are salutary. The vegetables used in kimchi also contribute to its overall nutritional value. Kimchi is rich in vitamin A, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), calcium, and iron, and contains a number of lactic acid bacteria, among those the typical species Lactobacillus kimchii. Health magazine named kimchi in its list of top five "World's Healthiest Foods" for being rich in vitamins, aiding digestion, and even possibly reducing cancer growth.

A 2005 South Korean study found, however, that when eaten in large quantities, kimchi may increase the risk of gastric cancer, particularly among people with certain genetic traits.[25]

One study conducted by Seoul National University claimed that chickens infected with the H5N1 virus, also called avian flu, recovered after eating food containing the same bacteria found in kimchi. During the 2003 SARS outbreak in Asia many people believed that kimchi could protect against infection although there was no scientific evidence to support this belief, and kimchi sales rose by 40%. However, in May 2009, the Korea Food Research Institute, Korea’s state food research organization, said they had conducted a larger study on 200 chickens, which supported the theory that it boosts chickens' immunity to the virus.

I make this in my own way, not using any particular recipe but those ingredients which I personally like, and it works out beautifully. Mind you, this is a fermenting product and when in the home will create a very unpleasant odor as it is going through its natural fermentation process. When I first made it LOLOL, I could not believe the 'scent' and thought I'd NEVER eat anything that smelled that way, but I got over this initial ignorance and went through with it as everyone suggests. On the last day, the odors all gone, I opened the jar and smelled it and it smelled wonderful! A deep sigh my body felt, as it recognized in its own wisdom, the benefits of this product my nose was inhaling. I tasted it and was blown away! It was delicious! I am hooked for life and never run out of this and it lasts a LONG time in the refrigerator, up to a year or more without spoiling at all because it is magically fermented. I share with neighbors and most love it. I have to keep making it. :D

There are so many variations you can find them on the internet and youtube has alot so just choose your own preferences as along as you make it so that you love it.

So here is my recipe.....I get most ingredients from the organic market, or what I grow, or the Asian store.

~ One large head of napa cabbage.....cabbage is the main ingredient for most all kim chee or sauerkrauts.

~ I use what greens I have growing such a collards or kale.

~ 2 bunches of scallions.

~ 1 large daikon root, maybe one foot? but ''large'' is relative! I've seen some over 3 feet long! 

~ 2 heads of baby bok choy

~ 1 bunch of cilantro, or parsley or your choice of anything.

~ fresh minced garlic, maybe 6 large cloves?

~ fresh minced ginger, maybe 2 large tablespoons? I visualize what I want to use at the moment, no science.

~ red pepper flakes as much as I want....I like it a bit hot, not too hot like the Koreans! but maybe a teaspoon? is not alot for this huge bowl.

~ THE MAGIC INGREDIENT WHICH DOES ALL THIS WORK, High Quality Minerals otherwise known as ''Salt''!....I use Himalayan Pink Salt or Real Salt fat tablespoon per 2 cups of water. If you are going to err, err on the side of MORE SALT rather than less, it is also this salt which keeps impurities from forming. You are doing this for beneficial bacteria, not the negative ones, and the salt content keeps it clean.

~ 3 large mason jars or however many you need based on the quantity of veggies you have.

Those are the ingredients I've come to love.

Make this an afternoon job and be prepared to make this with love, the best ingredient of all. It really does taste better when made this way. Put on the music and sing and dance as you chop!

All ingredients must be rinsed of debris and drained. Then all cut into the same bite sized pieces. I put them all into a huge wooden bowl. Then I mix the salt in the distilled water and let it dissolve for a minute then add it to the bowl and mix mix mix with my hands. The smells are wonderful and you can eat this as a salad at this point actually! It is delicious. I then add this mixture to the perfectly clean large mason jars, then I fill those jars with the liquid from the bowl. The ginger and garlic will fall to the bottom and sit there, just make sure you mix it into the liquid and get it all evenly into the jars, however many you wind up having. That's it. After this I put rubber bands around the jars lids to keep them slightly open, so they are not closed tightly, this is a NO NO, because the fermenting gas needs to escape as it is fermenting into beneficial bacteria. So the jars need to remain slightly open. It is ready to be put into the cabinet to ferment for 10 days. Some leave it for only 7 days some longer, but when the the Kim Chee stops giving off ''scent'', it is done, and ready. I know a man who ate it after only 3 days and loved it, but I think longer is better because more lactobacillus grows during the time it is left out, as does kefir and other fermented products. It is why you are making it in the first place, so I leave it the full 10 days. During this time the veggies will rise and so will the liquids so I put each jar into a small bowl to capture any liquids that may leak out, This has happened only once. I check the jars each day and when I see the veggies have risen I pull them out and with a sterile fork push it all back down into jar and make sure the liquid is just over the veggies. This may need to be done several times. It is a labor of love :D:D:D

I think napa cabbage is one of the more beautiful leafy greens. I love seeing them and play with displaying them LOL Here I have the cut ends of the bok choy at the base of each nappa leaf :D, and above them the stems of the bok choy I don't use......just playing with my foods beauty potential LOLOL!

ginger and garlic being chopped by the chopper.......

I seem to make it differently each time. I also mix the salt into the bowl with pure water by eye too.

All veggies cut and mixed and ready to be jarred....... if the liquid is enough to just be over the veggies, you have enough liquid.

Here the jars are closed after the 10 days and ready to be refrigerated....... but .....keep the jars slightly open throughout this 10 day process.

After 10 days you have yummy for the tummy goodness, delicious beyond description, and very good to eat with almost everything. I especially love it with hard boiled eggs. I just add spoons full on top of the eggs with the liquids YUM O the flavors are amazing! It is great in place of all salads, and as accompaniment to just about anything.

Some fun thing happened one time I made this. The pretty little ends of the bok choy which looked like large green roses to me, I could not throw away and left them out because they were so pretty. LOLOL....but what happened was it began to grow! I watched this for days and kept them and they grew more green leaves from its center and when they got large enough I planted it, and it grew into a full grown head of bok choy which I then ate again! Isn't Mother Nature grand??!!!!

After 3 days of being left there on the table, the greens grew again......

I put them into a standing plate.......

 They continued to grow, until I eventually planted them! LOL.....and had more bok choy! how fun!!

To your health!

sharing this post with Home and Garden Thursday

and with No Minimalist Here

and with Rooted In Thyme

and with From My Front Porch To Yours

and with The Charm of Home



  1. Hello sweet beautiful new friend... and thank you so much for visiting my blog, as now I have found yours... I am totally enchanted as I read... your organic foods and home~canned goods look fabulous... I am loving reading your sidebar too, and all of your favorite things... that could easily be my list as well... I love so many of the same things... faeries, seashells, animals and Nature... and the simple things in life make me happiest... I love honest, open people... and smiles that are sincere... signing on to follow your adventures... wishing you a most blissful Summers day... xoxo Julie Marie

    1. Thank you so very kindly for visiting and joining. I was enchanted with your blog! :D
      I have signed on with you too! :D
      love bloggyland!

  2. Hi Serena....What an incredibly interesting post. I have ALWAYS wondered what Kim Chee was....and now I know. I would love to be able to make some one day....but often cabbage does NOT agree with me....(If you know what I mean LOL LOL). I have read of it's health benefits.....and I know it is so very good for you. I have never tasted it.....perhaps I will have to venture this one day.



    1. Hi Jo,
      Yes Kim Chee is very good for you, and the veggies are fermented, or already 'predigested' if you will, so no problems even if cabbage doesn't agree with you in its raw form, in kimchee form it is very helpful to that very problem. If you do try it, try to find one that is not Korean as those are extremely HOT, and rarely can you find one that is not, unless of course you like it that way.
      thanks for visiting.

  3. Love kimchee! First time eating in Hawaii, very hot but served icy cold with fish and rice. So cool that you make your own, and so pretty as well. Have a fun week. Mary Anne, and thanks for the recipe and neat photos!

    1. you are most welcome Mary Anne Komar, I hope you do get to make it, it is super easy, and soooo very delicious, and lasts so long.

  4. WOW.....first of all, the way you PRESENT the cabbage, in those gorgeous is THIS? FOOD POETRY! The composition, the care, the SURPRISE! Now that it poetry.

    Dear Lady! I remember being exposed to this dish when I was on a dance tour many years ago in Asia. Korea was one of our stops and this dish was everywhere. I love cabbage, but we were actually advised not to eat it during our tour, in the event that one of us dancers/actors could not handle it...and I'm glad I did not eat it. However, the ingredients are SUPER FOODS and if I were to make it, I would have to lower the amount of SPICE for though I am of Hispanic origin, I do not do well with hot foods!!!

    Thank you so much for coming to visit my post; I had missed you for so long, not seeing you, and yes, that woman on the swing could be any one of us who long for peace, for the communion with nature, and who BELIEVE.


  5. wow! this was an especially delicious and beautiful post.
    thank you for sharing this,
    I'd love to try it!

  6. Fascinating! I feel so much smarter now! haha! But I especially love that you grew your rosettes too! Beautiful!

  7. My sister-in-law, who was Japanese always made Kim Chee. You could smell it a mile away. I've learned a lot from this post today. Thank you for sharing parts of your life with us. You sound like a very cool lady.
    May God Bless,
    Marie Antoinette

  8. My family loves Kim Chee. Thanks for the great instructions on making it at home. We buy it in a jar at the grocery store but I'm sure home made is a million times better.

  9. And to your health, dear friend!!! You are so generous to share your recipe....I love the little lovely Bok Choys!!!
    And, I LOVE KIMCHI!!!! I am a spicy food as well as fermented food fanatic. I've always been a little weary of making my own, but I remember my grandmother always had teeny cucumbers fermenting on the windowsill...I don't think she ever refrigerated them...and we were all ok!! ;)
    Well, my mouth is watering now! heee....
    Bon Appétit!!!
    - irina

    1. ha, spicy and fermented food fanatic? I wonder how you keep cucumbers on the windowwill with refrigeration? I would like to keep fermenting my kim chee but it seems to just stop its process after the 10 days.....It is so delicious! I wonder if I can keep them out also? am trying to find that out.
      lol glad you were all ok! I think those are the healthiest foods of all time.
      wish I could send you think?

  10. I have never seen fresh kim-chee. Looks wonderful. Your photos are terrific and I am in awe over the Bok Choy growing! Too cool! I am so delighted that you shared with Home and Garden Thursday,


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