Homemade Kimchi


I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and have settled nicely into the new year! I’m happy to report that I recently checked off one item from the 2016 “To Do” list – make kimchi at home!

The homemade kimchi was so delicious. I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner. (I’ve wanted to make my own kimchi since 2008!)

I shared the kimchi with my family and friends and they all seemed to enjoy it.  I have a feeling that I’ll be making more batches in the next week or so … and it might even become a regular thing around here!

You can check out Maangchi’s kimchi tutorial that I used to make kimchi here.  Her channel is nothing short of amazing.  If you’re interested in learning about the Korean cuisine or want to hone your skills, I also highly recommend her cookbook, Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking:  Authentic Dishes for the Home Cook.

I also documented my kimchi-making adventure here!


New Year’s Eve Eve

Today was the final work day of 2011.biggrin It was a fairy busy day, considering that many of the lucky coworkers have already gone on vacation days ago. I thought about taking some time off during the holidays myself but I figured I would save it for later in 2012.

I am looking forward to the relaxing next few days celebrating the new year with the family (as it is a big deal in a Japanese culture) and try not to think about the busy work month that awaits me in January.

Breakfast / Lunch (11:45 a.m.): I really need to get in the habit of eating breakfast earlier in the day.  I had a smoked salmon sandwich (same as last night) on sourdough baguette.  The sandwich is especially delicious dipped in balsamic vinegar. I also had a cup of freshly brewed coffee, served in my favorite mug cup. It’s from a store called The Universe Knows, and all their merchandises (t-shirt, mug cups, etc.) have wonderful quotes on them. This one says “cherish the journey,” and I have a few more with quotes like: “believe in yourself” and “be in gratitude.” Along with Life is Good cups, they bring such joy into my life every day.

Snack (4:30 p.m.): Made a steamed sweet potato for a pre-workout carb load. Although sweet potatoes are already sweet on their own, I like to drizzle a little bit of maple syrup on them. This reminds me of ishi yakiimo, stone-baked sweet potatoes, that I loved eating in Japan.  I like sweet potatoes so much better than yams.

Dinner (9:30 p.m.): After an intense workout with my sister, we opened a bottle of Cotes Du Rhone to celebrate the last workout of 2011! I made an udon dish with sliced yamaimo, okra, and green onion, with gomadare and ponzu. I just can’t get enough of the slimy goodness of all those food. I ate some kimchi with the noodle.

Addition:  My sister and I ended up staying up until 2:30 a.m. to watch the movie, Space Battleship Yamato.  Why not — it’s Friday night afterall, and it’s a friggin’ AMAZING movie.  We ate several onigiri (rice balls) at midnight and opened another bottle of wine — this time a bottle of nicely chilled Robert Mondavi Riesling.  I know I shouldn’t have but I simply couldn’t resist.

The wedding invitation cards and envelopes arrived this week from LCI Paper. I found this place while searching for good paper source online, and was impressed with all the helpful video tutorials they have posted on its Website. We are striving for a DIY wedding so we’ll be designing and printing our own cards.

The reality is finally setting in, that we’re getting married soon. I’m not even worried about the actual wedding but the preparation part makes me nervous a little since neither of us have done this in the past. I have to remember the quote from the mug – cherish the journey – and try to enjoy the process.

New Year, New Challenge: Bibimbap

bibimbapLook! I spent all day in the kitchen preparing this beautiful Bibimbap for dinner! Okay, I’m lying. These vegetables and marinated pork belly came in plastic containers, courtesy of a neighborhood Korean mega store. God bless them.

Although Korean cuisine tops as one of my all-time favorites (I would say my favorites are ① Japanese, ② Korean, and ③ Italian, in that order), I know nothing about how to prepare any of the dishes. The pungent spices used in Korean dishes are so mysterious to my taste buds that I can never decipher what is what. The fermented soybean pastes aisle at a store alone has rows and rows of selections (which makes my head spin) so I can imagine the complexity, depth and uniqueness of each of ingredient.

esseLearning a thing or two about how to cook Korean food definitely sits on top of my culinary “to do” list for 2008. I grew up eating Kimchi and Gulgogi but our family never made them at home so I’ve decided that I’m going to be the first one in the family to make my own kimchi! I found a kimchi recipe in a Japanese lifestyle magazine called Esse (I would say it’s a Japanse equivalent of Real Simple), and although it’s not Korean, I trust this recipe will deliver an authentic result. I’ll keep you posted 🙂