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This wouldn’t be a Korean blog without a mention of kimchee (김치) or fermented napa cabbages mixed with garlic, red pepper powder, salt and green onions. If you ever decide to make kimchee (김치), be aware that it can take about a day or several days to soak the cabbages in water. This is done to soften the cabbage and to clean out any dirt that may not have been washed off. Kimchee (김치) is the main staple of the Korean diet. It is infamous among foreigners for its spiciness. I can’t help but chuckle because my non-Korean friends always gulp down a glass of water after trying some kimchee (김치). Any newbies to kimchee should take note to drink a glass of milk or to bite into a banana to neutralize the spiciness of kimchee (김치). It works way better than water. LOL.
There are so many varieties of kimchee (김치). For example there is kimchee jjike (김치찌개) which is kimchee (김치) prepared in a soup format topped with tofu. Kimchee (김치) based dishes are not limited to cabbages. Sometimes radishes are cut into block squares in a dish called kkak duki (깍두기). At other times green cucumbers are cut into fourths, (but not cut all the way) in a dish called oi kimchee (오이 김침).
My favorite kimchee (김침) variety is chongkkak kimchee (청깍 김침) which are on average about the length of 3/4 of a twinkie. A green leafy stem is sometimes attached a the head of the radish, which can also be used to eat with rice. I also love mul kimchee (물 김치). It may not appear to look like it belongs in the kimchee (김침) family, but I listed it here because technically I think it is a variety of kimchee (김침), abeit a distant one. Mul kimchee (물 김치) is a water based soup-ish dish with thinly sliced radish squares and carrots. It also contains garlic and small squares of cabbage as well. It tastes salty instead of spicy and its served cold. It’s great to have it during the humid months of the summer season in Korea.