Do you want to make Mom a truly original Sunday brunch this Mother’s Day? Try pairing eggs with kimchi, an extremely nutritious component of many Korean meals.

All About Kimchi

Kimchi is basically fermented cabbage and is known as one of the world’s healthiest foods. Health.com explains, “Kimchi (or kimchee) is loaded with vitamins A, B and C, but its biggest benefit may be in its ‘healthy bacteria’ called lactobacilli, found in fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt. This good bacteria helps with digestion, plus it seems to help stop and even prevent yeast infections, according to a recent study. And more good news: Some studies show fermented cabbage has compounds that may prevent the growth of cancer.”

Because of its flavor, health benefits and versatility, kimchi has become a very popular item in the restaurant scene. This Korean condiment can be used like salsa in Mexican cooking: as a way to add interest, texture and flavor to your dish, whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner. When I was in Portland, OR, it was listed on the menu of Three Degrees Bar & Grill in the RiverPlace Hotel. The chef included it in one of their omelets on the breakfast menu as well as on a signature burger for lunch; plus you could you order it as a side dish to have with your dinner entree. I also recently found it dried as a snack at Trader Joe’s. The package listed it as, “An indispensable Korean condiment. It’s delicious over rice, in ramen and even as a way to add some spark to fusion tacos.” In fact, my husband Mark has even used it as part of a gourmet Louisiana Hot Link meal!

Homemade Sunday Brunch with Kimchi

This is a picture of a kimchi omelet.

This homemade kimchi omelet was delicious!

How do you make your homemade Sunday brunch with kimchi? The Kimchi Pantry Omelet is a delicious way to incorporate eggs, kimchi and whatever you have lying around your kitchen. Mark made one (photo to the right) with eggs, oyster mushrooms, roasted poblanos and green onions, topped with homemade guacamole, queso fresco cheese and homemade kimchi.

Looking for a kimchi recipe to try? Chow.com has a great one to reference:

Game plan: Kimchi needs time to ferment, so we recommend starting a batch about a week before you plan to use it.

What to buy: Korean red pepper powder, or kochukaru, is what gives kimchee its spiciness. It can be found in Korean markets in large resealable plastic bags, in different grades of coarseness and spiciness. Choose a grade based on your personal preference.

Also known as saeujeot, Korean salted shrimp are very small, naturally fermented shrimp that impart authentic flavor to kimchi. They are sold in jars and can be found in the refrigerator case of Korean markets.

Special equipment: You will need a clean 2-quart or 2-liter glass jar with a tightfitting lid to hold the kimchi while it ferments. Do not use plastic, as the odors from the kimchi can be hard to remove from plastic.

This is a picture of kimchi ingredients.

Here’s what all the kimchi ingredients look like.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (2-pound) Napa cabbage
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • About 12 cups cold water, plus more as needed
  • 8 ounces daikon radish, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
  • 4 medium scallions, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces (use all parts)
  • 1/3 cup Korean red pepper powder
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger (from about a 2-ounce piece)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic cloves (from 6 to 8 medium cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons Korean salted shrimp, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Directions:

This is a picture of the kimchi once it's ready.

Here’s what your kimchi should look like once it’s ready.

Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 2-inch pieces, discarding the root end. Place in a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt and toss with your hands until the cabbage is coated. Add enough cold water to just cover (about 12 cups), making sure the cabbage is submerged (it’s OK if a few leaves break the surface). Cover with plastic wrap or a baking sheet and let sit at room temperature at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

Place a colander in the sink, drain the cabbage and rinse with cold water. Gently squeeze out the excess liquid and transfer to a medium bowl; set aside.

Place the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the cabbage and toss with your hands until evenly combined and the cabbage is thoroughly coated with the mixture. Pack the mixture tightly into a clean 2-quart or 2-liter glass jar with a tightfitting lid and seal the jar. Let sit in a cool, dark place for 24 hours (the mixture may bubble). Open the jar to let the gases escape, then reseal and refrigerate at least 48 hours before eating (kimchi is best after fermenting about 1 week). Refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Download and print the recipe here.

Will you be incorporating kimchi into your Sunday brunch? Get creative and try mixing it with whatever leftovers you have in your pantry and refrigerator, and let me know what combinations you end up liking the best!

Mary Hathaway, Owner of Dinner Diva, has been a personal chef since 2002. She cooks regularly for clients who have special dietary needs, value healthy cooking by using organic products where possible and those who want healthy family meals but have no time to cook. Whether it’s a dinner for 4, a holiday party for 20, or a set of meals for the week, all of the recipes are customized to her client’s needs or lifestyle. Go to: Dinner-Diva.com for more info.