Kimchi!! Sour, salty, sweet, spicy-- all in one! There's no doubt as to why it's such an important part of Korea's rich food culture. It makes the perfect side dish to rice dishes, to grilled meats, it's great in stews and in pancakes/omelettes, and it's also great for your health.
Methods for making kimchi vary, and in Korea they even have nationwide kimchi competitions! (I was watching some food documentary on my plane ride to Singapore last summer after I got bored of the movies.) Do check out Maangchi's kimchi recipe! Hers will probably taste better, because she takes the extra effort to make a kimchi "spice porridge" first before coating the cabbage. And she has add-ons like oysters. But oh well, my fuss-free method tastes not half bad too!
2 heads Chinese leaf lettuce/Napa cabbage, chopped into big pieces (or you can leave whole)
1/2 cup sea salt
2" piece of ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, minced
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp Korean red chilli powder (it's more earthy and less spicy than normal chilli powder so you can add a lot to get that depth and nice red colour without burning your tongue)
1 tbsp hot pepper flakes (optional)
Choose your own "add-ons"
Spring onions, Leeks, Carrots, Radishes etc.
1. Sprinkle the cabbage with the sea salt, and set aside for 2-4h, turning once in a while to salt evenly.
2. Rinse the lettuce 3 times. Drain.
3. Rub and evenly coat the cabbage with the rest of the ingredients.
4. Transfer to a tight sealed container, and leave it at room temperature for 2-4 days. You'll see bubbles!
5. Transfer to the fridge, for up to a month. It will get more sour and develop a stronger flavour. If you can wait, don't enjoy immediately. But I've left mine much longer, and Koreans prized long-fermented kimchi.