Those of you that read my blog know that I love a grocery store. Some people have shoes or gadgets or lotions and potions. Not me. I’ve got the dairy case, cheese counter and friendly deli staff. Since this is my drug, and guilty indulgence is imminent with every visit, I’ve amassed a pantry full of random odds and ends, all of which I clearly need to have. The spoils of this most recent visit? Fresh-packed kimchi.
Kimchi is a spicy condiment made of fermented cabbage with other vegetables. It is an essential staple of the Korean diet and also boasts a ton of health benefits as a result of being a probiotic. The off-putting-to-some smell shouldn’t deter you from experiencing its hot, sour, salty and sweet balance that is surprisingly versatile across several different types of cuisine.
Taking some inspiration from classic Korean flavors, this dish is a bit of a riff on beef bulgogi. A classic in Korean barbecue houses, bulgogi is a simple presentation in which slices of beef are marinated in a sweet blend of soy sauce, sugar, garlic and sesame oil and then seared or grilled. The service is often an elaborate DIY spread with my different condiments, rice and leafy greens available to package all of the flavors together.
The point of this whole story? Next time you’re out shopping try and pick up just one new thing. You might just end up surprising yourself.