Thursday, March 18, 2010

True Thai Kimchi?

I've been reading The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth and taking notes. While many Thai favorites are included (fresh pineapple, baby greens, spinach, green tea, cashews, bitter melon, persimmons, papayas, mangoes, limes, coconut, bananas, snow peas, tomatoes, hot peppers, onions, mushrooms — actually, it might be easier if I listed True Thai foods not in this book!), I am very intrigued by one item from Korea, kimchi (also kimchee, kim chee).

Andrew L. Rubman: "This Korean fermented cabbage concoction spiced with capsicum provides healthy stimulus and therapy for the stomach and is often beneficial to those with gastritis, reflux . . . . "

Jonny Bowden, the Ph.D. who wrote this book, says that fermented foods are almost always good for you. Why? Because fermented food contains lactobacilli bacteria which boosts our immune system and fights inflammation.
"Kimchi is a superstar in the world of healthy has demonstrated antioxidant, antimutagenic, and anticarcinogenic activities. Pretty darn impressive for a sometimes smelly little cabbage dish. Kimchi also contains high levels of vitamins (vitamin C, the B vitamins), minerals (calcium, potassium, and iron) and dietary fiber."
I think by now you may have already guessed where this is going. Yes, this Friday we are putting kimchi-fried rice in our lunch buffet! We've been experimenting with it in the kitchen and have found that the flavors of kimchi blend very well with Thai fried rice. The only difference is that it is crunchier due to cabbage and extra onion.

But this is not a Thai dish so I do not know if we'll ever add it to the menu. Frying kimchi with rice is not my invention either. The Koreans have been eating kimchi for 3,000 years now, and have invented every kind of kimchi dish imaginable. They call their kimchi fried rice kimchi bokkeumbap.

I think I will call mine Thai-chi!