BELFAST, Maine — Most Mainers are familiar with sauerkraut, the salt-preserved shredded cabbage dish that came from Eastern Europe and is eaten on its own or tucked into sandwiches such as the Reuben or a hot dog.

Fewer folks here are on a first-name basis with kimchi, a spicier fermented concoction made with cabbage and other vegetables that is the national dish of Korea. But that is changing, as fermentation becomes more popular in American cuisine, according to a couple of Mainers who love to make, eat and share the spicy cabbage-based dish.

“I eat it with anything, and I eat it by itself,” Stan Belch of Thorndike, the facilities manager at the Belfast Co-op, said Wednesday of kimchi. “I just hope that people start making their own because it’s so much cheaper, and it’s so good for you.”

Belch is willing to put his money where his mouth is, too, at least when it comes to his favorite fermented foodstuff. He is going to teach people how to make kimchi at a class held at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5, at Waterfall Arts in Belfast. Belch will cover the basics of fermentation, the history of kimchi, equipment, ingredients, and offer a tasting to those who attend.

“Kimchi is basically Napa cabbage, green onions, salt and daikon radish,” he said. “To Koreans, it is a staple. And every village has its unique recipe.”

Mary Margaret Ripley of Ripley Farm in Dover-Foxcroft, who has taught classes on making fermented foods, shares a recipe for kimchi on the farm’s website. She said that more Mainers than she anticipated have wanted to learn how to make it.

“I’ve been super surprised that people are interested in it, and I think the interest is growing,” she said, adding that the health benefits of fermented foods may be one reason why. “They help your general digestion, which then helps your overall well-being.”

But that’s not the only reason why she makes kimchi.

“I love fermented foods,” she said. “We just like the way it tastes, and we have it a lot.

It’s great with rice in a stir fry, and we like it in the morning, too. If you make, say, home fries and eggs for breakfast and you have kimchi with that, it’s really good. The flavors go really well with pork. And there’s no specific recipe for kimchi. It’s whatever you want to put in it.”

To make kimchi, Belch chops Napa cabbage and wilts it with salt. Then he rinses the cabbage well and mixes it with the other ingredients and a little more salt. He lets the mixture ferment at room temperature for four days and then puts it in the refrigerator, where the fermentation will continue at a much slower pace and where it will stay fresh for months. But some people prefer a fresher-tasting kimchi, and leave it to ferment at room temperature for a shorter amount of time. Really, it’s all a matter of personal taste.

“Kimchi is good stuff,” he said.

Ripley Farm’s recipe for kimchi

Traditionally, kimchi is made with Chinese cabbage, but you can also substitute regular cabbage if you don’t have the Chinese version.

Yields 1 quart

1 head Chinese cabbage (about 2 pounds), thinly sliced

1 cup carrots, grated

½ cup radish, grated

½ cup onion, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

1 tablespoon salt

Combine ingredients in large bowl. Massage with clean hands, or stir, until juicy. Pack into a quart jar or other glass container leaving at least 1 inch of head room to the top of the jar. Press down with spoon until you see juices around the top of the veggies. Cap lid tightly and leave at room temperature for two to three days. Store in fridge and enjoy for months.