Savor the flavors of everyday real food, fresh from the garden or stored on your pantry shelves.
This spicy green kimchi recipe is one of my favorites. It is a zesty mix of bok choy and other vegetables flavored with ginger, soy, and red chile. Kimchi can be used in a variety of ways, including fried rice, soup, potato cakes and more. Like sauerkraut, kimchi is simply sliced vegetables mixed with salt and allowed to ferment. Once fermented, the vegetables will keep in the refrigerator for months and can be used in many different ways. There are several ideas for using kimchi at the end of this article.
Spicy Green Kimchi
Makes about 1 quart
• 1 to 1-1/2 pounds bok choy cut in 1/2-inch strips
• 1/2 thinly sliced medium onion
• 1 peeled and shredded medium carrot
• 1 cup peeled and julienned daikon radish
• 5 thinly sliced green onions
• 2 to 4 cloves minced garlic
• 2 tbsp organic raw sugar
• 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
• 1 tbsp soy sauce
• 3-4 tbsp Korean chile powder
• 4 tsp pickling salt
1. In a large bowl, toss all ingredients together until evenly mixed.
2. Pack mixture firmly into a clean, sterilized 1-quart glass jar, pressing each layer to draw out juices. Leave at least 1-inch head space to prevent bubbling over during fermentation.
3. If juices do not cover vegetables completely, prepare a very weak brine using 1-1/2 tablespoons pickling salt stirred into one quart of water until completely dissolved. Add brine to the jar to cover vegetables completely. Clean the inside rim of the jar with a damp towel to remove any pieces of vegetable.
4. Fill a plastic bag (zipper style or tied closed) with about 1/2 cup brine. Place brine bag over the ingredients to keep submerged in the brine, and making sure that the bag closes around the edges of the jar to completely to keep out air. (If any pieces of vegetable are trapped here, they may grow mold and ruin the jar of kimchi, so clean the rim well if you have not already done so.
5. During fermentation, store container at 64 degrees Fahrenheit to 72 degrees. At lower temperatures, fermentation may fail to start or complete and at higher temperatures you may encourage yeasts. Do not disturb until fermentation is complete, between 2 to 4 weeks. Fermentation is complete when bubbling stops (if any—it’s not always apparent), and kimchi smells pleasantly sour and tastes agreeably tart. If the kimchi “stinks” (more like socks than vinegar), it may have developed yeast or harmful bacteria and should be discarded.
6. Remove brine bag, cover jar and store in the refrigerator up to 6 months. During storage, vegetables should remain submerged; add more weak brine as needed. Any time you see white scum on the surface of the brine, skim it off and discard. It is not harmful, but could spoil the batch if not removed.
Korean Kimchi Fried Rice
This fried rice recipe is quick and easy to make. It’s is a common comfort food dish in many Asian households. Feel free to adjust ingredients to items you have on hand.
Makes 1 serving, may be multiplied by any number
• 1-2 tbsp canola or peanut oil
• 2 green onions, white and green portions sliced separately
• 1 small clove garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup finely kimchi, with juice
• 1 egg, beaten
• 1 cup cooked cold rice
• Dash of soy sauce
• Dash of ground white pepper
• Dash of sesame oil
1. In a wok over high heat, add oil and stir fry white onion and garlic for 3 seconds in very hot oil.
2. Add the kimchi and cook 1-2 minutes, or until liquid evaporates completely.
3. Add the egg and stir mixture until egg is partially cooked.
4. Add the rice and toss for 1 to 2 minutes, or until well-combined and hot throughout.
5. Sprinkle dish with soy sauce, white pepper, and sesame oil.
6. Stir again until well-combined and steaming hot. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the sliced green onion.
More ideas for Using Kimchi
Kimchi Fried Rice Soup: Before seasoning kimchi fried rice, cover the ingredients with boiling water or stock. Season the soup and sprinkle with sliced green onions. Serve piping hot.
Kimchi Grilled Cheese: Layer sliced cheddar cheese and finely chopped drained kimchi between slices of buttered country bread or in a flour tortilla. Grill over medium until hot and melty.
Kimchi Stuffed Potato or Rice Cakes: Create thin patties (2-inch cocktail size, or 4-inch dinner size) of 2 cups cold mashed potatoes or rice held together with one egg and 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or ground almonds. Press two patties together around a spoonful of kimchi. Sauté in oil over medium heat 2-3 minutes per side, or until lightly browned and heated through. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and sliced green onions. Serve alone as a light supper, with a poached egg for brunch, or for dinner alongside grilled steak, chicken, or fish.
Kimchi Butter: In a food processor, blend 1/4 cup drained kimchi with 1/4 cup soft butter. Spread on grilled fish or chicken just before serving.
Kimchi Bloody Mary: Add 2 tablespoons kimchi juice to your favorite Bloody Mary recipe and garnish with a few kimchi vegetables speared on a cocktail pick.
Carole Cancler is the author of The Home Preserving Bible. She has traveled to more than 20 countries on four continents to attend cooking schools and explore food markets. She studies the anthropology of food with a focus on how indigenous foods have traveled and been integrated into world cuisine. Read all of Carole's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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