musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Story of the Kimchi Kings

You're wondering, aren't you, what exactly you are seeing here? You notice the chopsticks, right away. . . but beyond that, and the little glasses, what is going on?



Well. . .it all started, as far as we're concerned in our little corner of the universe, with a man and cabbage.  Don't most things start with a man. . . and cabbage? 


From there came Kimchi.



What exactly is Kimchi?  I'm going to let Mr. Mark, our 'in house Korean expert' take this one:

"Kimchi is a delightful heaven for some and a detestable hell for others. There is no middle ground. The first references to Kimchi date back 3,000 years ago. Koreans eat Kimchi and rice every meal, everyday. Kimchi is a side dish made from Napa cabbage fermented underground in clay pots for months. It is then pulled out and rubbed with garlic, red pepper paste, fish oil and other secret spices, cut up into chopstick “grabbable” pieces and devoured.
"I tried it on my first night in Seoul fourteen years ago. I was immediately addicted. I ate it at least twice a day for the two years I taught English in Korea.

"Over the years, I have sought out Korean restaurants whenever possible. I eat bushels of it and then try to buy some of their stock to take home. They are usually very happy that non-Koreans appreciate their national food and give you a pretty good deal on it. Just don’t buy their entire stock from a waitress when the owner might not know what is going on….if you plan to go back that is."

Sadly, there was but one man in Southeast Kansas with his jar of Kimchi. . .finally, one day, he recruited another, then another and soon there were three. . . and from those three arose Korean Night.  On that night there was a royal crowning -  the Three Kimchi Kings. . .


and the rest, as they say, is history. Except, we're still living it. So perhaps that makes it a living history?

Back to Mr. Mark:

"I have gotten friends into Korean food in Colorado, Arizona, Texas, California, Missouri and finally Kansas.

"Of all the people I have introduced Kimchi to over the years, only two have taken it to a level that scares even me. Fortunately we are all good friends, unfortunately for their wives, the aftermath of Kimchi can peel the paint from bathroom walls. But even more fortunate, their wives are cool enough to let us have Korean parties: To let us be the Kimchi Kings.

"We have had a few Kimchi feasts with other Korean delights such as Soju (Korean Saki/Vodka) and Bulgogi (Spiced beef or pork)


with all the side dishes.

"We’ve ordered a restaurant’s entire stock of backshelf Kimchi from a waitress AND GONE BACK (at least T-ROY DID and took his wife as a buffer)."

Yes, there are times when the Kimchi Kings are royal pains (and pretty messy when they're preparing Korean feasts)


but, overall, I'm glad they're around


with their kimchi and bulgolgi.

For bulgolgi:  You buy the special marinade at an Asian market, place your thinly sliced beef or pork and some onion slices into a large bowl and pour the marinade over the meat and onions.


Mix well, apparently with your hands is the best method;-)


Let the meat set to soak up all the Korean spicy goodness for a few minutes to overnight,


then fry to doneness in a heavy pan over medium -high heat.and serve - with Kimchi on the side, of course!


But as far as the Soju goes. . .

 



it just makes a person entirely too giggly and with the prospect of having to face the 'soul train' in the morning. . . I'll pass.

Any last words, Mr. Mark? 

"Kimchi is alive and well in Southeast Kansas….at least eating it. I think we may soon have to grow it ourselves. And invest in super soft, double ply Charmin and LOTS of Febreze."

Well said, Mr. Mark, well said.

And that, my friends. . . is the story behind that first picture. . and though the meal may be over


the effects of Kimchi will live on.

Have a Kimchi kind of day ~

Robin Z

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