Kimchi Casual: Korea's Staple

I was first introduced to kimchi while living in South Korea. It is the fermented cabbage dish of Korean food; the great staple with rice. I've always wanted to try making it, but thought it was too complicated because traditionally it's stored in large crock pots and buried in the ground. However, this recipe made it easy by using mason jars and stored in the fridge or a cool place. For these reasons it's called the 'casual' kimchi.  

For those not familiar with kimchi it is packed with lots of minerals and vitamins especially vitamin C. It is usually made with fish and shrimp sauce, but this recipe offers a great substitute for vegans. Koreans claim that eating kimchi during the winter prevents the common cold, flu, cough and the sniffles. I've also witnessed Koreans eating it for breakfast. 

* 1 Chinese cabbage (medium)
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 1/2 cup chilli powder
* 2 inch fresh ginger
* 6-7 garlic cloves (minced)
* 2 tablespoon red miso paste or Thai curry paste
* 6-7 scallions (minced)
* 1/2 cup water

Prepare the Cabbage 
Cut up into small pieces and add 2 tablespoons of salt on top. 
Toss together. Let sit for 6-7 hours so it create its own water. Place a weight like 2 plates on top of it.

Prepare the Paste 
Add all the ingredients above, stir and blend for 45 seconds.

Next Steps
Scrap out of the blender and mix together with the cabbage. 
Use gloves or just enjoy the messiness of it.  
Add 3/4 to 1 cup of water.
Taste and add more sugar or salt as you like.
Jar tightly to ferment for at least 1 week. 

Place in the fridge around the 2nd or 3rd day.

* As the kimchi ferments it becomes more sweet/sour. 

More Great Benefits of Kimchi 

There have also been studies indicating it may prevent colon cancer. The garlic and spices stimulate the secretion of pepsin in the stomach and activate the bowels. It certainly is not for the faint-mouthed because good kimchi has a strong tang and can be nicely spiced.  In my opinion, kimchi might be something of an acquired taste but if you fight colds during the winter you really may want to give it a try! 

The Journey So Far

Life is an adventure and yoga is the greatest one of all. Here I share my love of Yoga, travel, practice and becoming a part-time cook. My life adventures have taken me from growing up in Toronto to living and working in South Korea to studying in India, marriage and finally closing my Yoga school of 15 years.

What I can say so far is that I truly believe that it is necessary in life to let go of one dream in order for another to be born. This might be painful to do so but it is the only way to move forward. We often believe that if our original plan does not succeed it is the recipe for failure. But what if it is the door to something new and great? The horizon is wide and life is not a straight line. This is the way I see it and my journey so far. Having also recently given birth to my first child and at 43, it is another new beginning.


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Heather Morton
is a perennial teacher and devoted student of yoga. Having made 18 extended trips to India she studies with her teachers annually. In 1997 she founded and directed The Yoga Way (TYW), Toronto's only school for 6-week yoga programs and not drop-in classes. For 15 years, TYW was a part of the growing Toronto yoga community and supported many charities by offering karma classes. As a teacher she holds many academic degrees including a BFA (Fine Arts in Theatre) and a Masters of Education. With a published thesis on Yoga for Children in School, her post-graduate work was a 2-year ethnographic project in the Indian school system. Heather has produced 2 dvds, meditation cds, a backbending manual and podcasts. Freedom of the Body DVD is the first of its kind as an instructional practice to the backbends of yoga. Heather has been featured in the Toronto Life magazine, The Globe & Mail, Yoga4Everybody and other on-line sources. She contributes to MindBodyGreen, Hello Yoga in Japan and Elephant Journal. She writes to inspire and share her experiences with others on yoga as a life's practice.
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