During the garden cooking classes we are fortunate to learn about a variety of different cultures using our favorite things, yummy FRUITS and VEGGIES! This week we made KIMCHI which is an ancient, traditional dish from Korea. It is so popular there that it is actually the national dish! It has a slightly spicy flavor because it is made from cabbage that has been fermented with spices like chili pepper, ginger and garlic. Sometimes it can be made with vegetables like cucumbers, onions and radishes, too. "Fermenting" means breaking down the sugars and carbohydrates into alcohols and acids with good bacteria. People used this technique hundreds of years ago to preserve food before they had electricity or refrigeration.
Besides being a famous cultural dish and also quite delicious, kimchi is packed to the brim with vitamins and nutrients. It has high levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Iron just to name a few.
We put our own twist on kimchi by adding broccoli, carrots and cilantro freshly harvested from the garden! Did you know that broccoli is actually part of the cabbage family? Broccoli is high in fiber and vitamin C so it is perfect to use in our healthy kimchee recipe.
After all the vegetables were chopped, we made the sauce with garlic, ginger, chili pepper, and a little sugar. To finish the mix we added fish sauce which is actually another fermented food item. Then we mixed it all up and filled our jars.
We then put the jars in a safe cool place to "cook" over the next month or so. We are all very excited to try our delicious home made kimchi!