By now you can probably list most of the benefits of cultured and fermented foods. They contain probiotics, or friendly bacteria, that aid our digestion so we can better absorb nutrients from our food. The Cool Cultured Cuisine we’ve covered so far include (saur) ‘Kraut and Kombucha. This week we add Kimchi, a traditional fermented cabbage dish from Korea, for a “triple K treat”. Kimchi comes in hundreds of varieties, and is made with a main vegetable ingredient such as cabbage, raddish, scallion or cucumber, and spices. You can enjoy it over rice, grains, noodles or sandwiches, as a side dish with any meal, or a standalone as a healthy snack.
Here’s a quick, tasty raw food dish I created that combines Kimchi and couscous. One of the things I’ve learned about Kimchi and other fermented vegetables is SIZE matters. Let me explain. Unlike my friend who looks forward to eating her Kimchi (and mine) during our trips to JeJu, a metro-Atlanta Korean Spa, I find it difficult to consume these pickled vegetables that generally come in large chunks. I’ve discovered dicing the Kimchi into bite-sized pieces and combining it with other ingredients create a whole new taste experience.
Read on to discover what you can do to make Kimchi not just palatable, but delish! And as always, I encourage you to do what your mother always told you not to: Play with your food! Toss in different veggies or experiment with flavored, herb-infused oils. Then tell me about it. I’d love to hear from you! What variations do you use? And what are your family and friends’ reaction to it?
V's Kickin' Kimchi + Couscous
- 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous
- 3/4 cup kimchi, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup baby portabella mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 3-5 cloves fresh garlic, minced finely
- 1 serrano pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped (optional)
- 1-2 tbsp unrefined, expeller-pressed virgin coconut oil
- 1 tbsp agave
- herbamare or sea salt to taste (approx. 1/2 tsp)
- Soak the couscous in equal parts water and let sit while prepping remaining ingredients.
- Combine the couscous, kimchi, cilantro, sun-dried tomatoes, baby bellas, garlic and serrano pepper together in a large bowl.
- Add coconut oil, agave and salt to couscous and vegetables. (You may have to warm the coconut oil over low heat to get it to liquid form.)
- Toss well and enjoy!