Food & dining

Chi Kitchen sends people on ‘unique journeys with kimchi’

Chi Kitchen kimchi.
Chi Kitchen kimchi.

“My kimchi is for people who are kimchi lovers,” says Minnie Luong, cofounder of Chi Kitchen in Pawtucket, R.I. Luong handcrafts the punchy Korean-style cabbage dish in small batches using a two-step fermentation process that can take up to 10 days. Crunchy, tangy, briny, and spicy, the jars are filled with chunks of Napa cabbage, an abundance of ginger she juliennes by hand, and cubes of daikon radishes (about $8.99 for 16 ounces). The produce often comes from local farms. Luong founded the company two years ago with her husband, Tim Greenwald, and offers two varieties: Napa, made with fresh-press, extra-virgin black anchovy fish sauce, and a vegan version blended with miso. Luong was born on a rice farm in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam and grew up in New England with a “foodie family,” she says. Her father, an avid home cook, was the inspiration for the company. Kimchi was a treasured home food and connects where she came from to where she is today. Use it as a healthy snack, a condiment for a sandwich, or in a salad. Luong mixes it into fried rice and also makes kimchi-deviled eggs. Customers have told her they use it to top a pizza and add kick to a Bloody Mary. “People get into their own unique journeys with kimchi,” says Luong. Available at Formaggio Kitchen South End, 268 Shawmut Ave., Boston, 617-350-6996; Wildflower Pantry, 575 Washington St., Brighton, 617-276-6299; Brookline Grown, 14 Pleasant St., Brookline, 617-487-8687; Cambridge Naturals, 23 White St., Cambridge, 617-492-4452; Wilson Farm, 10 Pleasant St. Lexington, 781-862-3900; Whole Foods Market, selected locations.