The Cabbage Tree

We have a cabbage tree right outside our apartment. Ok, it isn’t really a cabbage tree, but it is a tree with cabbages hanging from it. To understand this strange sight, you need to understand that in China cabbage isn’t just used for food. You can find expensive, actual-sized jade cabbages for sell in almost every nice department store. If the idea of spending your hard earned money on a jade cabbage doesn’t excite you, don’t worry. There are plenty of cheaper replicas in the market. Why would anyone want cabbages taking up shelf space in their home? Here, cabbages are a sign of good luck, especially good luck in the area of your finances. (You can read more about the Chinese good luck symbols here. And yes, unfortunately, many do spend the money believing that these charms will make a difference in their lives.)


Here, in our area, the cabbage is special for another reason as well. Kimchi. It was just harvested here and families have been busy preparing this season’s kimchi. Every where we look, we see mounds of cabbage.

Our family loves this spicy, fermented Korean staple. I love it even more since I discovered that it is a probiotic and really good for you. (For more health info on kimchi check out ) For many westerners, kimchi is an acquired taste. For others, they have a hard time getting past the strong smell.

For several of my girls, kimchi soup has become one of their favorite comfort foods. From the look of things this year, the kimchi supply will be plentiful. We just have to wait for it to ferment well, then the feasting can begin.

So. . . when I look at our cabbage tree, it reminds me that something good is coming my way. Not money, but a wonderful food, centuries old, that brings healing to the body and comfort to the soul.

~ Regina

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One Response to The Cabbage Tree

  1. Sungkee An says:

    we do not do that in Korea, I thought you are going to make see-rae-gee for the soup which is left over cabbage has been dried. many Korean use it with fermented soy bean for the long winter which brings critical vitamins.


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