Every year according to Korean temple tradition, we at So Shim Sa hold our Kim Jang Kimchi (김장 김치) Making Fest. Kim Chi is a most common side dish in Korean diet made by fermenting Korean napa cabbage, ginger, garlic, radish and of course plenty of red pepper flakes in a large clay pot. We bury the pot in the ground over the winter and visit it only to get a fresh batch of kim chi. The 2012 Kim Jang will be held on Sun, Jan 8 after our usual communal lunch.
According to the Korean Tourism Organization website (http://www.visitkorea.or.kr/intro.html) Kimchi has the following health benefits:Well-fermented kimchi has numerous anti-biotic functions. Perhaps the most significant is the presence of lactic acid bacteria. It is in large part due to the process of fermentation that this powerful agent helps build resistance in the body by suppressing the growth of harmful bacteria.This bacteria not only gives a sourish flavor to matured kimchi but also prevents excessive fermentation by restraining growth of other bacteria in the intestines.In addition to such benefits, substances in kimchi prevent hyperacidity resulting from excessive intake of meat and other acidic foods.Most ingredients of kimchi are rich in water and low in other nutrients. However, lactic acid in kimchi restrains the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestines and helps relieve intestinal disorders.Furthermore, the lactic acid is also efficacious for preventing adult diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and even gastrointestinal cancers.Juices from the vegetables and salt in kimchi help the intestines remain clean as well.Some substances in kimchi help promote the secretion of pepsin (protein-digestive enzyme) and maintain the presence of a certain level of bacteria.