by Debra

Oh Kimchi, where have you been all my life??! Living in the Midwest doesn’t allow for many ‘international’ choices on the food front; and even though I spent most of my early years on the West Coast, I have to admit Kimchi was no where on my radar – the pungent odor can be off-putting and anything fermented (outside of sauerkraut) seemed scary. Needless-to-say, when The Kimchi Cookbook arrived in my mailbox, I was a teensy bit skeptical as well as major apprehensive.

We were in the midst of the holiday rush and since this is an area of uncharted territory, I wanted to peruse the recipes and prepare a few to get the hang of what DIYers and Korean food lovers already know – Kimchi is not at all complicated to make and tastes incredible.


What I didn’t realize is that Kimchi can be much more than fermented cabbage and is quite versatile in how it’s used; the balance of flavors vary from mild to spicy – a simple potato gratin or pan of roasted brussels sprouts become new and fresh with the addition of either traditional or a modern kimchi. And I also didn’t realize that kimchi is seasonal – more heat during the dreary winter months, less heat during summer and highlight the freshness of available produce that can be ready in a matter of minutes. Kimchi Fried Rice, Kimchi Risotto, Kimchi Oven-Baked Baby Back Ribs – even the childhood favorite, Grilled Cheese, is elevated with the addition of a napa cabbage kimchi.


Lauryn Chun, founder of Mother-In-Law’s Kimchi, has written a beautiful book based on a recipe from her mother’s beloved restaurant, Jang Mo Jip. The 60 recipes are relatively easy and even though Korean chili flakes aren’t readily available in my area, I was able to order online and receive in a few short days. You’ll find step-by-step instructions with suggestions for substitutions that work well together as well as background stories as to why a recipe was developed or how Lauryn was inspired.


I try to avoid using the word ‘amazing’ when referring to a recipe . . . but damn, these were uh-MAY-zing – next time it’s a double-batch for me and The Professor. And I’ll readily admit to a new found fascination – The Kimchi Cookbook is one I’ll have out most of the year . . . Kimchi is officially off my ‘fear’ list.

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of The Kimchi Cookbook free of charge; however, all reviews and opinions are strictly my own.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian @ A Thought For Food

Holy cow… how did I miss this? Two of my favorite foods combined. Such a great idea!

I too have the cookbook and I really need to cook from it (for some odd reason, kimchi makes me think of summer… I really have no idea why. I need to get over that).


Culinary Cory

What an interesting idea. Never thought about making kimchi out of brussel sprouts before.



I’ve never been a kimchi lover. But darn, this looks good!



I… lol. I don’t know why that just happened. But anyhow, I love kimchi so very much. An egg, rice, quinoa, what have you, kimchi can go on it all. This is my kinda of a dish.



I love the idea of kimchi, Debra, but somehow I never made it. I would love that brine based with a kick of heat in it so it is still puzzling why I haven’t made it. I hope your post will give me a kick in the behind.


Jeanne @ CookSister!

Intriguing! I admit to also being a bit fearful of kimichi, having only learnt of its existence in the last 5 years or so and being a not very big fan of pickled things like sauerkraut… but your post certainly makes me keen to try some more, especially with sprouts! That first picture is totally gorgeous BTW… 🙂



I am totally going to have to try these!! Oh, and I try to avoid using the words amazing and delicious. Looking back, I have used them at least twice in every single post I have ever written. 😉



Amanda – seriously, this is SUCH an easy recipe but man, so full of flavor!


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