Yep, in most of the recipes I've read for kimchee, some sort of raw sea animal was involved. Mostly they call for small shrimp. Very often it's left out. Sometimes when I eat out at a Korean restaurant, they present two dishes of the napa cabbage kimchee, one with the other without the seafood. Although I like both of them, I like the one with the shrimp more. As a matter of fact, I am rather delighted when I get a piece of raw shrimp. And yes, the recipes also call for burying the kimchee in its earthenware pot in the soil. It was probably for temperature regulation so here in the US, the refrigerator should do a fine job. There's another very delicious one made of raw blue crabs and garlic scapes. I think Kroean cuisine has elevated the art of pickling.
Re: the fermented tomatoes. I learned about it a few years ago when I was watching Taste with David Rosengarten on the TVFN. Before Iron Chef, it was my favorite show on TVFN.
Oh, another thing I don't know what to do with is hearts of palm. I often see it in the tiny section designated for Asian foods. And I also see it when I shop in Chinatown. But how is that used? What's it like texturally and tastewise?
[ June 24, 2001: Message edited by: monpetitchoux ]