The first few times I tried kimchi it was not, I must admit, my favorite food. Then I met my Korean-American partner, Gregory, moved in with his mom — a superb cook — and within a few months I was wholly converted.
These days my mouth waters at the slightest whiff of pungent, fermented cabbage and I'll eat it with everything from fried rice to dumplings, summer rolls, or, ahem, straight out of the jar. I still have a lot to learn from Mom when it comes to kimchi-making (there are over a hundred different kinds!) but the recipe for mak kimchi, or simple kimchi, has been a great place to start.