In The Kinship of Secrets, kimchi is featured in both Inja’s Korean story and Miran’s American story (the two young sisters at the heart of the novel). In Seoul, Inja’s aunt makes terrible kimchi that worsens as it ferments over the winter. As a way to earn money, Miran’s mother makes gallons of fresh kimchi and sells them to Asian restaurants in Washington, DC.
The Kinship of Secrets was inspired by family stories; this recipe is remembered from my mother making kimchi in a laundry tub in the basement. Kimchi takes a few days to ferment but can last for weeks in the refrigerator once ripened. Serve as a side dish/salad with rice and an entrée such as bulkogi (Korean beef) or fried tofu. I enjoy eating kimchi with almost any food, including breakfast pancakes, spaghetti and curry.