▲ Chilled yeolmu kimchi soup is a traditional and savory summer dish. Photo by Kimberly Comeau
Main Ingredients 4 ½ cups fresh yeolmu (young summer radish) ½ cup sea salt
Porridge 1 cup water 1 tbsp flour 1 tbsp sugar ½ cup fish sauce (optional)
1 small white onion ½ tbsp ginger 2-3 green chili peppers 2-3 red chili peppers 2 tbsp red pepper powder 4-6 cloves garlic purified water or boiled water cooled
1. Wash yeolmu and take off any dead leaves.
2. Peel the small radish attached at the bottom.
3. Cut into 5 cm pieces.
4. Put into bowl and add salt and enough water to cover the yeolmu.
5. Let sit for 1 hour or longer.
6. Drain and wash the salted yeolmu three times with cold water. Place in large bowl. Set aside.
7. To make porridge, add 1 cup of water and flour to a small pot and heat over medium heat until it begins to boil, while stirring constantly (about 5 minutes).
8. Turn off heat and add sugar and fish sauce. Set aside to cool.
9. Chop onion and red and green peppers.
10. In a blender, blend together chopped onion, peppers, garlic, ginger, and red pepper powder.
11. Add porridge to blended vegetable mixture and mix well.
12. Add the blended ingredients to the yeolmu and mix well.
13. Transfer to a large container with cover. Add 2 cups of purified water.
14. Let kimchi sit at room temperature for 2-3 days to allow fermentation. Let sit 1-2 days if temperature is warmer than room temperature. After a couple days, taste test the kimchi and if there is a pickling flavor, it is fermented. Then store it in the fridge.
15. Serve with ice cubes.
(*) Add noodles to the kimchi and it will then be called yeolmu guk su.
Serves 4-5 people I must say, making kimchi was a very rewarding experience. It wasn’t at all difficult and I was able to rave about it to my friends back in Canada as well as to my friends here on Jeju. I do have to thank one of my native Jeju friends, Kim Jin Young, for helping me with this recipe. She has also answered my call for help with many of my culinary attempts.
Research shows the fermentation of kimchi provides extraordinary health benefits. Lactobacillus (a group of bacteria which converts lactose and other simple sugars into lactic acid) found in kimchi have been shown to control harmful bacteria in intestines, lower cholesterol in blood, improve immunity, contain anti-cancer functions, and prevent diarrhea and constipation (1). The Lactobacillus found in kimchi actually has its own name, Lactobacillus kimchii sp. (2).
Although not all studies on kimchi are positive. Some studies show that there is a higher incidence of gastric cancer in Koreans and correlating it to the N-nitroso, which may in fact be carcinogenic, compounds found in kimchi (3). But this doesn’t mean you have to remove these foods from your diet. It all comes back to moderation. Genetics and lifestyle also play a large role in these factors.
1. http://www.kscpp.net/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=mRoB209x4NE%3D&tabid=140&mid=498 2. Jung-Hoon Yoon et al. (2000). Lactobacillus kimchii sp. nov., a new species from kimchi. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 50, 1789–95 3. Seel DJ et al. (1994). N-nitroso compounds in two nitrosated food products in southwest Korea. Food ChemToxicol Dec 23;32(12):1117-23
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