kimchi is a traditional side dish as well as a staple in korean cuisine. it is made of fermented vegetables (napa cabbage and radish) and different seasonings like chili powder, scallion, garlic and ginger. it has been inscribed by unesco as intangible cultural heritage, and supposedly contributes health benefits as is it considered probiotic food.
from the very first time i had a korean meal, i immediately fell in love with kimchi: its crunchiness and softness, its unmistakable ad racy spiciness - a truly unique tasting experience live I’d never had before.
when i lived in china, I would have a much easier access to fresh kimchi and had plenty of it. but since i came back to italy, i am very occasionally going to korean restaurants, hence my kimchi intake lowered drastically. until… my mum decided to buy me a napa cabbage, for me to try and cook it - and then teach her. i was in heaven: it was the main ingredient for that heavenly staple! there was, however, a problem: i did not know how to make kimchi! most importantly, it takes a few hours to season the cabbage, prepare the spicy paste, and mix all together - let alone if you want to store it and season it properly! but I still wanted to give this a go, so i checked in my fridge and grabbed a few ingredients to recreate “my kimchi”, a super quick and easy alternative that takes no more than 15/20 minutes cooking!
1 napa cabbage
1 tsp oil
1-2 tsp soy sauce
1/3 tsp ginger
1 garlic clove
sriracha sauce (or any spicy paste) - a lot!
1 tbsp sesame seeds
remove the leaves of the napa cabbage and rinse them under cold water; cut them in diagonal stripes.
pour the oil, ginger and a bit of sriracha sauce in a pan and heat it up.
place the cabbage stripes in the pan and add more Sriracha sauce - to taste :)
let it cook for about 15 minutes on medium-low (stir it occasionally to allow the leaves to absorb the flavors) or until the cabbage has become soft and reddish. make sure the condiments mixture has left a bit of “broth” in the pan.
sprinkle on the sesame seeds, stir for another minute or so, and turn off the heat.