Elwood 5566

Transformed by a Weed – Shepherd’s Purse with Kimchi Stew (냉이 김치 찌개)

Posted in Food and Drink, Kimchi Gone Fusion, recipes for Kimchi by 노강호 on June 26, 2012

Key Features: an excellent side dish or main meal, adaptable and healthy

Kimchi Jjigae is one of the most common dishes on the Korean peninsula and while the main ingredients are basically the same, tuna, saury and pork are often added. And you can just as easily omit them! Koreans eat kimchi jjigae all the year around but for westerners used to dreary, dark, grey winters, this stew would be considered a seasonal companion. As with other foods which stew cabbage kimchi, the older the kimchi the better. You can use fresh kimchi but the taste is far richer and with a greater depth if your kimchi is nice and sour.

Like many similar Korean foods, the recipe is very adaptable and you can easily jiggle it about and experiment. This recipe uses shepherd’s purse which while in Korea is probably classified as a herb, in the UK, is most definitely an irksome weed – especially if you are into lawns. Shepherd’s purse has quite an amazing taste and a small amount can transform kimchi jjigae into another dish. If you were to add the same amount of parsley to jjigae the effect would not be as marked as to warrant including ‘parsley’ in the recipe title.

MY DEFINITIVE RECIPE

1 cup = 180ml. T=tablespoon (15ml), d=dessert spoon (10ml) t=teaspoon (5ml) 

This recipe is ideal for one, or as a side dish – double ingredients for each additional person

SHOPPING LIST

Pork, any cut about the size of a large dice though you can add more. Chop into small pieces. Conversely, you can leave it out altogether.

2T Wine (any will do though I prefer rice wine)

1d Soy Sauce (간장)

1d Sesame oil

1 cube (4 cloves) of crushed garlic.

1d Sugar or corn syrup (물엿)

Half a cup of onion, or leek and straw mushrooms (this could be substituted), all finely chopped

0.5t of dashida (다시다) or a stock cube

1t of sesame powder

1T of red pepper paste (고추장)

1t Red pepper powder (고추가루), depending on taste

Half a cup of Kimchi (sour is preferable), chopped

Tofu, cut to about the size of six small dice cubes

Shepherd’s purse (냉이) about a third of a cup.

Sesame seeds for garnish

3-4 cups of water

See also suggested accompaniments at the bottom of the page.

EQUIPMENT

Ideally as an earthenware pot or ‘ttukbeki’ (뚝배기) or a heavy bottomed sauce pan.

RECIPE

Make a marinade with:

1. 2T wine, 1d soy sauce, 1d sesame oil, 1d sugar or corn syrup, 1 cube or 4 cloves of crushed garlic, (5 items)

2. Put the pork in the marinade and leave from two hours or overnight.

COOKING

In a heavy bottomed pot or Korean earthenware ‘ttukbeki,’ place:

3. The marinade, half a cup of onions and mushroom, 6 cubes of tofu, 0.5t of dashida stock, 1t sesame powder. (6 items)

4. Then add 1d red pepper paste and approx 1t of red pepper powder. (2 items)

5. Finally, add 3 cups of water, a third of a cup of shepherd’s purse and half a cup of kimchi.  (3 items)

6. Bring to boil, allowing it to vigorously boil for five minutes and then simmer on a low heat for 30 mins. Top up with extra water to maintain original amount.

7. Remove from the heat, garnish with sesame seeds and serve.

 SERVING SUGGESTIONS        

Serve with an accompanying bowl of rice.

ONGOING NOTES:

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©Bathhouse Ballads –  努江虎 – 노강호 2012 Creative Commons Licence.

Pork Kimchi Jjim – 돼지 김치찜 – My Recipes

Posted in Food and Drink, Kimchi Gone Fusion, My Recipes, recipes for Kimchi by 노강호 on February 13, 2012

Key Features: Korean fusion / very healthy / adaptable

Pork Kimchi Jjim

I’ve lived for almost five years with one of Daegu’s best pork kimchi jjim restaurants less than 10 seconds walk from my front door. I very quickly developed a taste for this tasty dish and over the years have managed to gleam a few tips to help me reproduce it. This recipe is best with sour, aged kimchi, indeed the older the better. Even kimchi of a year old and which has started to grow a layer of mold on the top, can be washed clean and used for this truly satisfying and healthy meal.

The best cut of meat for this is pork leg and if you have time to cook on a low heat for an hour or more, you can cut the meat in large chunks about 1.5-2 inches square. My local restaurant cooks the pork, in large chunks, for several hours until it melts in your mouth. For quicker versions you can reduce the cooking time by cutting meat into smaller portions. If this is the case avoid more fatty cuts of meat – such as pork leg.

MY DEFINITIVE RECIPE

1 cup = 180ml. T=tablespoon (15ml), d=dessert spoon (10ml) t=teaspoon (5ml)

This recipe is ideal for one large portion – double ingredients for each additional person

SHOPPING LIST

240 grams pork tenderloin (목살) or front leg (앞다리). If you have time, leg is preferable.

2T Wine

1d Soy Sauce (간장)

1T Sesame oil

1d Sugar

1 cube or 4 cloves of crushed garlic

Half an inch of finely chopped ginger

Half a Spanish onion roughly chopped

Mooli – about same amount as onion, diced, but omit if this is a main component in your kimchi. White turnip is a good substitute.

0.5t of dashida or a stock cube

1t of sesame powder

1T Mild bean paste

1t Red pepper powder

1 cup of Kimchi, sour is preferable

Sesame powder

Sesame seeds and or pine nuts for garnish

3-4 cups of water

See also suggested accompaniments at the bottom of the page.

EQUIPMENT

Ideally as an earthenware pot or ‘ttukbeki’ (뚝배기) or a heavy bottomed sauce pan.

RECIPE

1. MARINADE

Cut the meat into cubes about an inch square. Then, make a marinade with:

2T wine, soy sauce (간장), 1T sesame oil, 1d sugar,1 cube or 4 cloves of crushed garlic, half an inch of finely chopped ginger (7 items)

Put the pork in the marinade and leave from two hours or overnight.

2.  COOKING

In a heavy bottomed pot or Korean earthenware ‘ttukbeki,’ place:

Half a Spanish onion roughly chopped and the same amount of mooli (or white turnip) omitting this if it features in the kimchi. (2 items)

0.5t of dashida or a stock cube and 1t of sesame powder. (2 items)

1T Mild bean paste

1t Red pepper powder

1 cup of Kimchi

Then add the marinade and bring back to the boil, boiling for five minutes before reducing the heat to a simmer for 25 minutes. You will need to add around 1 cup of extra water during simmering. If my meat is cut larger than inch cubes, and if I’m using the more fatty leg meat, I will cook on a low heat for up to an hour – until the meat is at a stage where easily falls apart. Stir occasionally and add extra water to maintain the original level.

Before serving and an extra teaspoon of sesame oil, some sesame seeds and/or pine nuts.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS        

Serve with an accompanying bowl of rice and a selection of side dishes (반찬) and laver bread (김).

ONGOING NOTES:

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©努江虎 – 노강호 2012  Creative Commons Licence.

Kimchi Potato Croquettes – My Recipes

Posted in Food and Drink, Kimchi Gone Fusion, My Recipes, recipes for Kimchi by 노강호 on June 24, 2011

delicious!

A local Japanese restaurant I use makes the most excellent potato croquettes and as cabbage and potato work well together, I tried combining them. The results were excellent and I ate far more than I should have done.

INGREDIENTS

Potato (approx 5 medium sized)

kimchi (finely chopped) 1 cup

1 onion (diced finely)

minari (미나리-though parsley would make an ideal substitute) Chopped.

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 egg (beaten in a bowl)

plain flour (in a bowl)

breadcrumbs (in a bowl)

oil for deep frying

Optional Fillings

Mozzarella, Brie, ham etc, even that pseudo Korean stretchy cheese

the assembled ‘balls’

METHOD

1. Boil the potatoes until cooked and then mash them over a low heat to remove moisture.

2. To the potato add the kimchi, onion, minari, sugar and soy sauce and mix together.

3. Arrange, in order, the mixture, and bowls of flour, egg and breadcrumbs

4. Taking the mixture, fashion it into  a ball a little larger than a golf ball. At this stage you can insert a cube of cheese into its center. Place each ‘ball’ on a plate until you have as many as you need.

6. Take each ball and and coat first with flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Place on a plate and complete the process with all ‘balls.’

7. Heat the oil until it is suitable for deep frying.

8. Carefully place the ‘balls’ into the oil and fry until golden brown when you can remove them onto greaseproof paper and continue with the next batch.

with a drizzle of sauce and salad

OBSERVATIONS

Mashing the potato over a low heat is crucial as removing any excess liquid stops the potato ‘balls’ falling apart.

VARIATIONS

I have also added 1 tablespoon of mushroom wine at stage 2

SERVING

Kimchi potato croquettes make an excellent snack or side dish but can easily constitute a lunch. I’ve eaten them cold and they are delicious but you can’t beat them straight from the fryer, hot and crispy. A suitable sauce, used in Japan and Korea is “Bulldog’ which is a brown sauce made with Worcester sauce. A drizzle of Terriyaki, Worcester Sauce or other brown-type sauces would be ideal but this is a matter of taste.

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Kimchi Bubble and Squeak – Fusion Kimchi

Posted in Food and Drink, Kimchi Gone Fusion, My Recipes, recipes for Kimchi by 노강호 on June 15, 2011

Bubble and Squeak was a favourite dinner when I was a boy and was one of those meals in which you could use various leftovers. It is an English food that along with most other typically English meals, toad in the hole, faggots, mince and onions, etc, you rarely find in a restaurant.

Here is a recipe for bubble and squeak using kimchi. As always the recipe is a template and I have provided some ideas for variations.

kimchi bubble and squeak (recipe link)

INGREDIENTS

1 pound of potatoes

salt and pepper

1 cup of chopped kimchi

water

oil (lard)

1 onion – chopped

METHOD

1. Boil the potatoes for 25 minutes, drain and mash (butter, milk, cream etc, can be added). Of course using left over potatoes is perfect. Add salt and pepper.

2. Mix the kimchi and mashed potatoes.

3. Fry the onion in a little oil in a heavy frying pan

4. Add the potato and kimchi mix to the pan and press down until it is like a cake – cook for 15 minutes.

5. Remove from the Pan onto a plate keeping the shape as much as possible. Make sure to scrape out the frazzled and burstled bits from the bottom of the frying pan. Re-oil the pan, heat, and put contents back in the pan, this time, upside down. Cook for 15 minutes.

6. Serve with an egg and/or bacon, sausages and or or with tomato, brown or Worcestershire Sauce. How about some cheese sprinkled on top or simply a sprinkling of sesame seeds and a little sesame oil. Just use your imagination.

OBSERVATIONS

My mother and grandmother never patted it down but just cooked it in the pan turning it every five minutes or so and scraping the frazzled bits, folding them into the mixture. It is the frazzled potato and cabbage which are the most enjoyable.

VARIATIONS

Bacon is a great addition at stage 3.

For a full fat version use lard in the frying process and add milk or cream and butter to the potato at stage 1.

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©Amongst Other Things –  努江虎 – 노강호 2012 Creative Commons Licence.

Bratwürst and Kimchi – Fusion Kimchi

Posted in Food and Drink, Kimchi Gone Fusion, My Recipes, recipes for Kimchi by 노강호 on May 28, 2011

My local E-Mart has started selling quite decent German bratwürst and I recently tried them with kimchi. Well, bratwürst and sauerkraut is a common combination so I was thinking a spiced up version should be quite tasty. They worked well together and were okay with mustard but personally, they worked better along with a little potato salad. My kimchi is on the spicy side and the mayonnaise in the salad offsets this.

kimchi and bratwürst

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©Amongst Other Things –  努江虎 – 노강호 2012 Creative Commons Licence.

More on Cabbage Kimchi – Some Guidelines

‘decanted’ after over two months and deliciously sour

This post was originally published in February 2011 and is now updated.

I am now quite proud of my cabbage kimchi, a skill which has taken me about ten years to get right. One reason why it takes a long time to make decent kimchi is that you have to develop a sense of what constitutes a good kimchi and an awareness of kimchi at different stages of fermentation. Unless you have a cultivated appreciation of what Kimchi is, and by that I mean an awareness of kimchi that a Korean would enjoy and not what you personally think it should taste like, your kimchi will never be authentic. The subtleties of kimchi are as intricate and extensive as wine or Indian curry  and an appreciation is important if you are to use a recipe to guide you.

There exist many recipes for cabbage kimchi, regional, personal and for accompanying certain meals; bo-ssam (boiled, sliced pork, 보쌈) for example, uses a special type of kimchi. I am concerned here with the standard type of kimchi that accompanies the majority of Korean foods and which can be divided into two categories, fresh and sour.  There is of course, a range of flavours in between these extremes. Many Koreans have a preference for one or the other and foods which use kimchi as a major constituent, as for example with kimchi stew (김치 찌개 or 김치찜), suit one or the other.

scary yes, but tasty

I’m told by Korean friends that big cabbages are not the best to use and that medium sized ones, which compared to Britain are enormous, are the most suitable. The outer leaves are trimmed and unless damaged these shouldn’t  be thrown away as they can be used in other recipes.

One of the most persistent problems I faced was the most crucial; namely getting the salting process right. Even cook books sometimes overlook what is a seemingly simple procedure. When the prepared cabbages are ready to paste with your kimchi paste mix, they should resemble a dishcloth by which I mean they should be floppy and it should be possible to wring them without them tearing. If you get your kimchi paste wrong you can always adjust it. Even if you subsequently discover your kimchi is too salty it will mellow as it ferments but should the kimchi fail to wilt properly it will not be easily rescued.

Many recipes gloss over the salting process and only this week I read Jennifer Barclay’s book, Meeting Mr Kim (Summersdale, 1988). The book is an interesting account of life in Korea and not a cookbook, but her kimchi recipe, and she is not alone, simply directed you to soak the cabbages in salted water. If as recipe does not explain the salting process in some detail, tread with caution!  I once used an entire big bag of table salt in which I soaked the cabbages for several days and they still failed to wilt effectively. The salting process is actually simple if you use a coarse type of salt  (such as sea salt or if in Korea  굵은 소금)) and sprinkled between the leaves is all that is required to wilt the leaves in several hours, depending on room temperature. When I make kimchi in the UK, I am forced to use cabbages which are almost white in colour, very stemmy, and which are too small to quarter but even these wilt if treated properly. After salting the washed and wet cabbages they can be placed in a bowl or sink, sprinkled with extra salt and a few cups of extra water and left. Immersing them in water isn’t necessary. In hot weather the wilting process is much quicker. You should notice the cabbages almost half in volume and soon become limp, floppy and wringable.

Bo-ssam (보쌈) uses a different type of kimchi

Like rice, traditionally, Koreans rinse the cabbage three times. I have learnt it is much better to rinse them thoroughly, perhaps removing too much salt but this can always be remedied later. However, if you use the correct ammount of salt and don’t sprinkle excess on, three rinses are adequate. You can feel where salt residue remains as the stems are slimy and you can remove these by simply rubbing your fingers over them.

Salty kimchi will mellow with fermentation, it is probably better for it to be not salty enough than too salty, especially given the concerns over salt and blood pressure. One hint Mangchi suggests is adding some thin slices of mooli (무) if it is overly salty.

A good kimchi paste will cling to the leaves like a sauce so it is prudent to drain the segments and even wring  water out and this will prevent your kimchi becoming watery as the cabbages ferment.

Pork kimchi stew (김치씸) – works just as well with mackerel

Plenty of recipes, online and in books, will guide you through making the paste but my all time favourite is Maangchi. Her website is enormous and her videos on Korean cooking are well presented. Here you will also find other ways to use kimchi as well as many other types of kimchi, cabbage and otherwise.

British friends who have since become lovers of kimchi often ask me how long it will keep. I tend to keep kimchi in the refrigerator in hot weather and somewhere cold, but not freezing, in winter. If you like kimchi fresh (newly made,) keeping it cool or cold will delay fermentation. If you like it sour then you can use a warm  place to speed up the process. I tend to juggle things in order to better control fermentation. I made my last batch of kimchi in November and the tub in which it is stored has stood on my balcony almost 6 months. I have now moved it to the bottom of my fridge to mellow indefinitely. I have used kimchi that was over 6 months old and which had white mold on the top but this washed off and the underlying cabbage was excellent as the basis for a stew.

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© 林東哲 2011 Creative Commons Licence.

Basic Kimchi Recipe (adapted for those living in the UK)

Posted in My Recipes, Quintesentially Korean, recipes for Kimchi by 노강호 on February 13, 2011

the taste of a nation

I have a number of friends and family in the UK, most notably my sister, who have been asking me to give them a kimchi recipe despite there now being many great recipes available on the Internet. So, I have written up a recipe I use when in the UK where I can’t always get authentic ingredients and I need to make substitutions.

There are many different cabbage kimchi recipes encompassing different styles to regional variations. The fact kimchi is so varied makes it exciting and without doubt, everyone who makes kimchi does so slightly different from someone else. For Koreans, when mum makes kimchi, and I’ve only met a few men who can make it, their hands invest it with love.  This is the recipe I use for what is basically a straight forward kimchi comprising the basic ingredients.

Kimchi is very easy to make but it helps if you have some knowledge of how decent kimchi tastes so you are able to assess your endeavours and make adjustments to improve future attempts.

There are 9 basic ingredients:

Cabbage – Chinese leaf (called napa in the US). In the UK places like Tesco sell these but they are white, small and very stemmy. You will need 4 of these.

Mooli – once again this sometimes appear in supermarkets though they are small, skinny and bendy. Turnips, 3 0r 4 make a suitable alternative.

A whole bulb of garlic.

An inch or so of ginger. (I often omit this)

A bunch of chives or spring onions. (the type of onion Koreans use I have not seen in the UK)

Rice flour, though I have used plain flour. Not all recipes use this but I prefer paste slightly clingy)

Fish sauce – in the UK Thai Nam Pla is fine including ‘Squid’ brand.

Salt, like a whole box or packet. You will need Kosher salt or sea salt and not table salt.

Korean red pepper powder. You cannot substitute this but I have ordered it with easy in British Oriental supermarkets.

A good size plastic tub – like a Tupperware tub.

(Sugar – not all recipes use this)

Stage 1 cabbage preparation

Without any doubt the most neglected part of recipes on kimchi involve salting, and hence wilting the cabbages. All my early failures at kimchi making resulted from recipes that failed to explain this process. Getting this right is crucial but it is very simple.

1. Immerse cabbages in water. Then trim off discoloured bases, remove any bad leaves, and using a good knife begin to cut the cabbage in half from the base. Once about a third of the way into the cabbage, remove the knife and then simply tear the cabbages in half. If you have large cabbages you would in fact quarter them in this manner but if they are the small ones I’d simply half them.

Let the cabbages drain but don’t dry them.

Double check your using sea salt! Lay the cabbage half on its back, and then begin sprinkling salt on the lowest leaf, on the inside. You’ll need to raise the rest of the cabbage up to access it and at times, with a small cabbage, you can hold it in the palm of your hand and finger the leaves apart. Make sure you sprinkle salt into the base area where stems are thickest. You don’t need lots of salt, just a good pinch for each leaf. This process is finicky with small cabbages.

salting the cabbage

When all salted, put the cabbages in a bowl, throw a handful of salt over the top and then add a cup or two of water. Then simply leave them until wilted which may be between 2 hours to over night depending on the temperature. Turning them a few times during salting is useful.

leave for several hours or overnight

How do you know when the cabbages are ready to paste? First they will have reduced in volume considerably and the container will contain a lot more water. Most importantly, the cabbages should be limp and floppy j.  A good test is to wring one and it should wring just like a cloth, without tearing.

suitably wilted so that it is limp and like a wet cloth

Next, rinse them 3 times. To prevent the kimchi being too salty, you can immerse cabbages in water and feel where excess salt is as it will have a slimy feel. Simply remove this with your fingers. Make sure you wash between the leaves.

Finally, wring them to remove excess water which will otherwise dilute your paste. The cabbages are now ready to paste.

Stage 2 Preparing the other ingredients.

Grate the mooli (white turnips) and squeeze any fluid from them

grate the ginger

crush the garlic

chop the spring onions (chives)

Mix 2 tablespoons of rice flour (or plain flour) in a little cold water, until it is a runny paste, then add this to a pan containing 1 and a half cups of water. Heat this until it begin to boil, stirring it constantly and adding any additional water until it resembles porridge. As it begins to boil you can add a 1 tablespoon of sugar but this is optional. The ‘porridge’ provides some body to the paste and many Koreans do not use it. Personally, I quite like a thicker paste on kimchi though not too long after fermentation, the paste will have become diluted regardless.

Stage 3 making the paste

Put the rice flour porridge in a large bowl

Add half a cup of fish sauce

3 cups of red chili powder

Add garlic, ginger, onion and mooli

Mix them all together into  a paste being careful not to burn your fingers on the porridge mix.

Stage 4 pasting up the leaves

kimchi pasting

This process is almost the same as salting the leaves; lay each cabbage on its back and staring with the inside lowest leaf, paste on the mixture. Any leftover paste I simply spread over the top unless there is a lot when I might freeze it for later use. Segments should be placed in a Tupperware container with each segment being laid in a head-tail-head order. They pack better this way.

Some General Points

Where to store kimchi – basically, if  it’s summer in the fridge and if winter, somewhere cold but not freezing. Kimchi ferments and as it does so the taste is altered. Part of the fun in making kimchi is in controlling the fermentation so you keep your batch in the condition in which you best enjoy it.

Fermenting kimchi – You can eat kimchi immediately. Prior and during fermentation, kimchi has a very fresh taste where individual ingredients are distinct.  The kimchi will also be lively in colour. At this stage the kimchi can be salty but as fermentation and infusing continues, saltiness is lost. Some saltiness or even heat (spiciness) can be compensated with some additional sugar. If it has lost saltiness you can adjust this at this stage. Stems may still be slightly firm and thick stems may still have a little crunch left in them despite being wilted.  Be prepared for some bad smells during this period. Fermentation can last up to  a week depending on temperature and in comfortable room temperature (21 degrees) you can expect the lid of the Tupperware container to pop open about once every 24 hours. I’ve slept in the same room as fermenting kimchi and no longer find the aroma unpleasant but the released gasses will easily scent a room with what some will consider a very unpleasant smell.

Fermented kimchi – individual flavours are much less distinguishable, saltiness is reduced and the paste has probably thinned and increased considerably.  Don’t worry; this is delicious in stews and soups. I often make minor adjustment to saltiness and sweetness.

Aged Kimchi – aged kimchi draws your mouth with its sourness and if you appreciated this type of kimchi, there is a point, which differs for each ‘connoisseur,’ where the balance of saltiness, acidity, and sweetness combine to provide an exquisite taste.    I often add a little sugar or salt to this kimchi in order to balance the mixture exactly as I like it however; it never produces the same sensation as it does when the balance is naturally right.  Aged kimchi is slightly yellower in colour and the stems slightly translucent. What aged kimchi might lack in lustre is compensated by its mature taste.

Once you know how you like kimchi you can move your Tupperware pot in order to slow down or suspend fermentation. After the kimchi has stopped releasing gas, it will continue to mellow but at a much slower rate and during winter months or when it is kept in a cool place or the fridge, the taste will differ very little over several months.

Very old kimchi, over six months might have mould on the surface but don’t throw it away; wash the mould of the top segments and the kimchi is still edible but much better for use in stews.

 

kimchi  segments packed head to tail style

If you can obtain minari, as you can in Korea, a bunch of this, chopped can be added along with the spring onion, garlic and ginger.

Good luck and don’t be afraid to experiment as you gain experience!

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© 林東哲 2011 Creative Commons Licence.

It's Alive!

Posted in Comparative, Food and Drink, My Recipes, recipes for Kimchi, vegetables by 노강호 on January 21, 2011

Judging by the proliferation of cooking programs on British television, you might assume we are a nation which appreciates good food and enjoys cooking. Unfortunately, with the demise of many good quality butchers and fishmongers and the ascendancy of enormous supermarkets stocked full with frozen food and microwave meals, it becomes apparent that we are more interested in watching food being cooked and positively captivated if the chef is some contrived character who has enough family members in his show to almost make it a soap drama. The fact the supermarkets and brands they endorse represent the very opposite of  ‘back to basic cooking,’ is rarely acknowledged.

Over my holiday, I happened to watch a program on Korean cooking which bore all the hallmarks of cooking programs which really have nothing to do with cooking and everything to do with self promotion and the establishment of a dynasty. The entire program was filmed either in the presenter’s village or in her home and introduced us to most of her family and friends.

As for the cooking, anyone acquainted with Korean cuisine knows that kimchi, a form of spicy fermented cabbage, as well as numerous other kimchi, accompany a meal. This Korean cooking was as Korean as the standard Korean pizza is Italian. Not only was there no mention of kimchi, but some very odd items were used in some standard Korean meals. I’ve both eaten and cooked bulgogi many times but this version used beetroot, asparagus and English pear. Though you can probably buy these somewhere in Korea, I’ve never seen beetroot or asparagus. As for English pear, once again this is a fruit you do not see in Korea and yet Asian pear is not difficult to buy in the UK. The program further irritated me when it was eaten off individual plates with knives and forks and in the total absence of side dishes or a plate of assorted leaves in which to wrap the bulgogi. During the entire cooking process red chili powder and red pepper paste were absent.

With so little knowledge of Korean food in the UK, especially outside London and a few other areas, it is possible for chefs to concoct any food combination and call it Korean.

Meanwhile, here is a video from my November batch of kimchi in which I opened the lid to catch the contents in the middle of a very active bout of fermentation.

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I’m currently  on holiday and my usual posts will re- commence next week.

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It's Kimchi Time – November 2010

Posted in Diary notes, it's kimchi time, My Recipes, recipes for Kimchi, vegetables by 노강호 on November 12, 2010

Usually, around this time of year I make a new batch of kimchi. The last batch was made in May and  since August or thereabouts, I have occasionally had to wash mold from the top leaves, which has been excellent in kimchi-stew. However, I didn’t really enjoy it as a side-dish. To be honest, my May batch had a bad start as once again the first process, salting the leaves, didn’t go well. This time I  consulted a couple of grandmothers who recommended the coarsest salt. So, after finding two very tight, and heavy cabbages, at 6000 Won, (£3), I sprinkled the leaves with salt and rather than immerse them in water, just sprinkled a cup’s worth over the top. The cabbages took about 24 hours to completely flop but this might not be unusual as the temperature was quite cool, if not cold, in my kitchen.

tight and heavy

salting process

suitably limp

I was also extra careful making the paste and this time used twice as much of everything except the fish sauce which I reduced a little. I was also careful to wash the salt off the cabbages and let them stand in water for an hour as in the past they have remained salty.

ready to paste the leaves

The sauce was slightly sweeter than usual and the consistency much thicker which I think was the result of carefully draining the leaves and using double the ingredients stipulated in Maangchi’s recipe. I didn’t alter the recipe and simply made double the amount. A few friends suggested it needs some additional salt which is fine as too little can be remedied but too much can’t.

the finished product

Don’t forget, for a great recipe for making kimchi, visit Maangchi.


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© 林東哲 2010 Creative Commons Licence.