I am obsessed with kimchi. I think about the earthy, fermented, spicy pickle all the time. I know that some people find kimchi’s deep funkiness repellent, but I love it.
Kimchi is one of the most common Korean condiments and is made with vegetables, chili pepper flakes, garlic, ginger and salt. It is lightly fermented, sort of like sauerkraut, and then eaten as a side dish or used as an ingredient in Korean cooking. The kimchi most of us are familiar with is made with Napa cabbage.
I love Asian grocery stores. All of those mysterious, oddly named ingredients-- stinky tofu, anyone? Anyone?-- the smell of rice and soy and dried mushrooms. I visit Asian Market on Central, near Hydraulic, often, because it is close to both the restaurant and home.
If you didn’t already know this, I’m half Asian-- half Filipino, specifically. I grew up eating rice with every meal, fish with heads on, chicken with feet on, fermented things, and every soy product known to man. My parents are adventurous eaters, so my brother and sister and I ate all kinds of weird stuff from the get-go. There is no food I won’t try at least once.