Well Preserved

What is old can sometimes make a better new. Of course, that is my own philosophy demonstrated by the dress that I recently wore to the Black and White ball but it was also the conclusion of a fascinating article Older, Better, Smaller produced by the Preservation Green Lab of National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Preservation in the Kitchen

Preservation in the Kitchen

The detailed study centers on measuring how the character of buildings and blocks influences urban vitality and is largely an outgrowth of the early work of Jane Jacobs, the Goddess of Urban Planning. Using a novel process called geo-spatial analysis, researchers codified three major cities into 200 meter squares according to the age of the structures within. San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Seattle all demonstrated greater vitality within areas that presented buildings of mixed ages.

The measurements of vitality were fascinating; everything from cell phone usage to small business start-ups to pedestrian traffic measured at different times of the week. While the research summary doesn’t conclude that all old buildings should be saved, it does point to a methodology that planners should use in determining how their cities should develop and grow.

200 square meter analysis

200 square meter analysis

My urban town is hardly representative of mixed age architecture but my kitchen does give way to preservation. Following the Korean method of serving pickled vegetables with meals, I used up the last of the kohlrabi and napa cabbage to make kimchi. While kimchi is delicious and loaded with vitamins, it seems that its biggest benefit may be that it contains lactobacilli. This is a healthy bacteria that helps with digestion and prevents infections in the gut. In fact, a study conducted by Seoul National University claimed that chickens infected with avian flu actually recovered after eating food containing the bacteria found in kimchi.

Kimchi

Adapted from David Lebowitz
Makes 1 quart jar
Ingredients:
  • 1 (2-pound) head napa cabbage
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • about a half gallon water
  • 1 Tbs grated garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2-3 Tbs fish sauce
  • 1-5 Tbs red pepper flakes or Korean chili powder
  • 8 ounces Korean radish or daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Then cut each quarter crosswise. Salt the cabbage and place it into a large bowl. With clean hands, massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften, then add water to cover the cabbage. Keep it submerged by weighing it down with a plate. Let stand for about an hour.

Napa Cabbage

Napa Cabbage

Rinse the cabbage under cold water 3 times and drain in a colander. Meanwhile, combine the garlic, ginger, sugar, and fish sauce in a small bowl and mix to form a smooth paste. Mix in an amount of chili, using depending upon your tolerance for spicy heat. Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and return it to the bowl along with the radish, scallions, and seasoning paste.IMG_1964

Gently work the paste into the vegetables until they are thoroughly coated. Take care if you do this using your hands as the chilies can burn. Pack the kimchi into the jar, pressing down on it until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave at least 1-inch at the top of each jar and put the lid on.

Put the jar away in a dark cupboard at room temperature for about 5 days. You may see bubbles inside the jar. Check the kimchi once a day, pressing down on the vegetables with a clean finger or spoon to keep them submerged under the brine. When the kimchi tastes ripe enough for your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator.

Kimchi before going into the dark

Kimchi before going into the dark

P.S. It’s complete and it’s a pass. Thank you for your patience.

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31 Comments

  1. i should try this!

    Reply
  2. Reblogged this on Rose of Sharon Healing and commented:
    Fermented foods are highly nutritious. Great recipe for kimchi in this post. Thanks to Agrigirl for it!

    Reply
  3. Koreans know how to do fermentation very well!!

    Reply
  4. Congrats!
    And well done on the kimchi, too. I was just in the area of red dots, just above the blue ones, in the center of your first image helping my folks prepare to move to their new place. And, while visiting, I loaded up on favorites from the Asian grocery store nearby including kimchi and several other pickled vegetables. I’ll do the work of making bibimbap and enjoy the chef’s work preparing the side dishes that go along with it.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Second image. I’m not in your kimchi. That would be weird.

      Reply
    • Knew what you meant! It’s fascinating how the red dots correlate to buildings and to local commerce. bibimbap?

      Reply
  5. I don’t care for fermented things, usually, and can’t take much heat in foods, but you make this sound very appealing, and your instructions are clear-cut and easy to follow. I may just have to give it a try. Thank you,Tammy!

    Reply
    • Cindy, mine is very hot so this may not be your dish. Try a prepared variety first.

      Reply
  6. Yay! You passed.

    Reply
  7. Congratulations, Tammy! I love kimchi, but I’ve never been brave enough to try making it myself. Now that you’ve made it sound not at all scary, I may have to give it a try! Thanks!

    Reply
    • It’s not a bit scary. I did two types; one cabbage and one kohlrabi. I actually prefer the latter.

      Reply
  8. Yay, Tammi! So happy for you and for you sharing this recipe with us!

    Reply
  9. I never tried kimchi like that not home-made! I must change that & try your inviting recipe!

    Reply
  10. Congratulations on your pass; you must be relieved to have it all behind you. I have tried kimchi and loved it but never made it – must sort that out xx

    Reply
    • You know Charlie, there are so many different kinds. I wish you were closer as we’d have a lot of fun in the kitchen making all different sorts!

      Reply
  11. Congratulations! PS you need to add water to “about a half gallon” in your ingredients list :)

    Reply
  12. Congratulations on your success Tammy and welcome back! I have a jar of Kimchi from one of my CSAs that I need to try. And this fall I am hoping to do my own sauerkraut (first attempt failed over the winter…)!

    Reply
    • I just looked at my Edible Phoenix magazine and they are also showing Kimchi. must be getting popular!

      Reply
  13. I’ve never tried Kimchi because it seemed so difficult, & it’s way to expensive to buy. Because of your post I know I can ferment it! I eat fermented cabbage with just about every meal. I’m so glad I stopped to read this post. Thank you

    Reply
  14. Ahh, I just made kimchi, too!

    Reply

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