My sister-in-law is South Korean and I'm forever grateful to her for introducing my family to Korean food. During visits, she's whipped up bulgogi, let us sample the Korean version of ramen (spoiler alert: it's better), and made pork belly. She also introduced me to kimchi, a spicy, fermented cabbage side dish. At first, I was hesitant to try it, since it loosely resembles pickled ginger (not my favorite), but I found kimchi savory and delicious. You can add it to rice, shrimp dishes, and salads for a burst of flavor and a little heat. Since it's rich in probiotics, kimchi is a gut-healthy food, helping to boost your immune system and restore balance to the good bacteria in your gut.
The authority on kimchi in my sister-in-law's family is her grandmother—and she's such a guru that she doesn't even work off a recipe. That makes sense, since kimchi is incredibly customizable—you can add more spice, or reduce the heat. Love garlic? Add extra. For a vegetarian version, leave out the fish sauce and sub in extra water instead. Think of the ingredients as your initial inspiration, and adapt them to suit your taste buds. And don't be intimidated by the somewhat lengthy process of making kimchi—I'm a total newbie, but my results were delicious.
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