In the final days of class, I learn two methods for make- your-own kimchi. The first of the two, which I prefer, goes like this: take one whole napa cabbage and chop in half. Spread salt liberally between the leaves and let sit. Prepare the paste thick—the gochugaru will paint everything deep red. When rubbing it in, make sure your fingertips reach between every leaf. This kimchi ferments and sours slowly, marries crisp cabbage
and sticky chili. The other instead prepares quickly. Scatter the leaves between your fingers. Toss red flakes in with chives and stripped turnip. Jam them in a jar to sit. Get it just-filled to the brim with brine. This kimchi is bite-sized cabbage, pre-chopped to the size you like best. I learn two methods to make my own kimchi. And then, at the end of class, I learn that made-in-Korea is always superior.
-- Rachel Kuanneng Leehas lived in Singapore and South Korea. Her work appears in or is forthcoming at Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, The Tiger Moth Review, wildness, Entropy, the Live Canon 2020 Anthology and elsewhere. She is a Brooklyn Poets Fellow. She is also co-founder of a data science startup and hopes that someday, she might be able to make a coherent narrative out of her career choices.