Wednesday, March 4, 2009
How to Make Quick Kimchi
Things have slowed down here considerably. Sorry about that. After running around the bay looking for the best this or that, exhaustion and frustration set in. A slower approach is being taken with a few longer term and slower food projects undertaken. Take today's post as an ideal example.
Many people the world over love cabbage and so should you. While cabbage has always been a vegetable I appreciated, it became even more appreciated after spending some time living in South Korea. While there are various varieties of kimchi, the most common kind is made with napa cabbage. When a napa cabbage arrived in our CSA box the other week, we sprung into action.
For you the reader, I have adapted a recipe.
Here's what you'll need:
1 napa Cabbage
1 Asian Radish (we used stunning watermelon radish)
1/4 cup sea salt
3 or 4 Green Onions sliced into 1-inch long pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
4 tablespoon chili powder
First, wash your leaves and cut into 2-inch lengths. Cut the radish however you like. We made small wedges. They certainly looked adorable.
Place your vegetables in a bowl. Dissolve your salt in water and pour over the vegetables. Let soak overnight.
The following day drain and save the water. Add your onions, garlic, ginger and chili and mix with your hands. Put the mixture into some kind of container. A gallon jar works well. We used a stone pot. Pour the salt mixture over vegetables leaving an inch or so at the top.
Let this mixture sit a couple of days and enjoy. Remember, lower room temperature means slower fermentation, so this step is a little arbitrary. But really, when you eat it is up to you as it will continue to ripen. Refrigerate after opening. As this mixture matures the smell will grow and fill your house every time you open the refrigerator door. I love this smell, but some people can find it a little overwhelming. If this is a problem, my advice to you is to get a gas mask.
While this kimchi is a quick and simple version, it really is quite delicious and useful in a variety of ways, snacking amongst them. As it continues to ripen, it becomes rather suitable for kimchi jigae (stew) or kimchi bokkeumbap (fried rice). We only made the latter with this batch. Don't worry, if you don't want to tackle korean cooking right now, you don't have to, as this kimchi is really quite wonderful all by itself.