Category Archives: kim chee

Kim-Chee!

I’ve posted this recipe in the past but not in quite a while. Today I tasted a new batch of kim-chee that has been fermenting for a couple weeks and it is–I have to say–on of my better batches. Anyhow, the recipe is below, but if you’d like to learn more about kim-chee, sauerkraut, and other fermented foods (how to make them and why they are good for you), read this post.


Kim Chi

(Korean-Style Sauerkraut) 

1 head Napa cabbage, cut into two-inch pieces

1 small daikon, grated

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small piece ginger, minced

1 small onion, minced

2 tablespoons chili paste

1 tablespoon sugar

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Transfer to a container that is wide enough to fit a few small plates inside it. Press the cabbage down and weight it with plates. Cover the container and leave at room temperature. After a day it should release enough liquid that it is submerged, if not, add a little salted water. After about 2 days small bubbles will appear, after about a week or so it will smell and taste distinctively sour. Taste it as often as you like and when the flavor is to your liking transfer the container to the refrigerator to slow its fermentation.

Urban Simplicity.

Kim Chi

I’ve posted a few variations of this recipe in the past, but what it comes down to is that kim-chi is a spicy fermented cabbage recipe not unlike sauerkraut  (but did I mention spicy). The above image may be a bit misleading because it is not the finished recipe, it is the ingredients that have just been mixed together prior to fermentation (beautiful isn’t it). In this heat it should be fully fermented in a few days, or at least by week’s end. The basic recipe is listed below, but really the ingredients are really up to you. If you’d like to learn more about fermented foods–via articles I wrote (yes, shameless self-promotion)–click here or here. I also recommend this book.

 
Kim Chi
(Korean-Style Sauerkraut) 

1 head Napa cabbage, cut into two-inch pieces
1 small daikon, grated
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small piece ginger, minced
1 small onion, minced
2 tablespoons chili paste
1 tablespoon sugar

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Transfer to a container that is wide enough to fit a few small plates inside it. Press the cabbage down and weight it with plates. Cover the container and leave at room temperature. After a day it should release enough liquid that it is submerged, if not, add a little salted water. After about 2 days small bubbles will appear, after about a week or so it will smell and taste distinctively sour. Taste it as often as you like and when the flavor is to your liking transfer the container to the refrigerator to slow its fermentation.
 
 

Anticipation

Yup…it’s that time of year again. Time to start thinking about the victory garden. That’s a savoy cabbage plant pictured above. Future food for my son and I. In a few months I plan on eating it. No, let me rephrase that. In a few month months, after I harvest the cabbage and some cayenne peppers from my front yard garden, I’ll make kim chi–or rather, combine the ingredients and it will make itself–and then I will eat it. 

The Miracle of Controlled Spoilage (or, the art of live foods)

Fermentation. That, of course, is what the title of this post is referring to. Every culture has their versions, and things you may not think of as fermented are in fact just that…beer, bread, yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, wine, and of course all sorts of  vegetable pickles. My favorite is kim-chi, or Korean style sauerkraut. Fermented products are very healthy and easy to make…the most difficult thing, I think, is the wait; they can’t be rushed. The recipe for the above pictured kim-chi is listed below, and if you’d like to see it being made, click here. To read more about the history and health benefits of these incredible foods–with plenty of recipes–click here. And if you are interested a book on all things fermented, I recommend this book.
Kim Chi
(Korean-Style Sauerkraut) 

1 head Napa cabbage, cut into two-inch pieces
1 small daikon, grated
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small piece ginger, minced
1 small onion, minced
2 tablespoons chili paste
1 tablespoon sugar

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Transfer to a container that is wide enough to fit a few small plates inside it. Press the cabbage down and weight it with plates. Cover the container and leave at room temperature. After a day it should release enough liquid that it is submerged, if not, add a little salted water. After about 2 days small bubbles will appear, after about a week or so it will smell and taste distinctively sour. Taste it as often as you like and when the flavor is to your liking transfer the container to the refrigerator to slow its fermentation.
 

>A Few Recipes, Thoughts, and a Couple Cartoons

>

100% Whole Wheat Bread:

I’ve been playing around with a variation (simplification) of Peter Reinhart’s whole grain bread recipe. I find the idea of home made bread being made without too much fuss and it not occupying your time and thoughts very interesting. I much rather incorporate it into the rhythm of my day. Many of my breads, for example, I’ll start the sponge before bed or before I go to work, and then mix the dough hours later, either retarding it in the refrigerator or baking it straight away. With this cold snap we’re experiencing in the northeast a refrigerator isn’t necessary…the rear of my house (where my kitchen is located) 9is like a refrigerator. I had to bring the bread to my living room and warm it next to the wood stove to speed the fermentation process. Anyhow, here’s my method, and it came out pretty good.

If I recall correctly Peter Reinhart uses milk or butter or yogurt in his dough (I may be wrong…I haven’t looked at the book for a while), at any rate, I used a straight-dough recipe, or one without fat (ok, I used a little olive oil). The thing that is key I think, and this is something that I picked up from Peter’s book, is that when making bread with 100% whole wheat flour it is essential to soak the flour before mixing the dough.

In the bowl on the left is a sponge with 2 cups of w.w. flour, a little yeast, and 2/3 cups of water; the mixing bowl on the right contains 4 cups of w.w. flour, 1 1/3 cups water, a little salt, and a tablespoon of olive oil (no yeast). I let these sit overnight. In the morning I dissolved a little more yeast in about a quarter cup water (the small container with the spoon in it).

Then I mixed them together, first in the electric mixer then by hand, and mad the dough.

Realizing the coldness in my kitchen (something like 45F), and not having the time to allow for a 12-hour rise, I sped up the process by warming the dough on a stool next to my wood burning stove. I had it covered (of course), but the real challenge was keeping my two dogs away from it.


I divided the bread into three loaves, let it rise again (this time in the kitchen…which was a bit warmer because I was preheating the oven). The outcome was awesome.

Remnants of Summer:

Then I found myself in a quandary…here I had these 3 beautiful loaves of bread, and I knew that I’d never eat them before they went stale. I gave one away, sliced into one, but still didn’t have enough room in my teeny freezer for the remaining loaf. In order to fit the loaf in the freezer I had to take some stuff out. And if I were to take some stuff out I knew that I had to cook it…so I made dinner. Actually, I only had to remove a container of broccoli and butternut squash, both of which I grew on my tiny city plot this past summer.

I basically cooked the vegetables aglio e olio style (with garlic and olive oil) and tossed it with pasta. It’s a method for which I can cook almost any food, and a flavor I never get tired of. Besides the pasta and chicken broth, here’s the basic ingredients I used: squash, broccoli, garlic, and hot peppers.

I sauteed everything in a little olive oil.

Added enough cup or two of chicken broth, and allowed it to cook the vegetables and reduce to concentrate it’s flavor.

Then tossed it with whole wheat pasta and Romano cheese

What’s up with The Gas Prices?

Really? What is up? Two years ago we were at the very same price for gas per gallon as we are today (in Buffalo). Then we went on a roller coaster ride and we’re back where we started. Check out this chart I found at buffalogasprices.com:

Anyhow, I don’t care what the price of gas is I still far prefer my bicycle to my gas-powered vehicle. Here’s a few cartoons I came across that reflect this sentiment:



Super-Ripe Kim Chi:

Lastly, I had to include a few pictures of my latest batch of kim chi (cabbage and peppers grown in the back yard this past summer). It is by far the best batch I have ever made, and it is literally alive with flavor and probiotics. It has an effervescence the almost sizzles on your tongue. Check out the book and/or website, Wild Fermentation, if you want to learn to make it.

A Few Recipes, Thoughts, and a Couple Cartoons

100% Whole Wheat Bread:

I’ve been playing around with a variation (simplification) of Peter Reinhart’s whole grain bread recipe. I find the idea of home made bread being made without too much fuss and it not occupying your time and thoughts very interesting. I much rather incorporate it into the rhythm of my day. Many of my breads, for example, I’ll start the sponge before bed or before I go to work, and then mix the dough hours later, either retarding it in the refrigerator or baking it straight away. With this cold snap we’re experiencing in the northeast a refrigerator isn’t necessary…the rear of my house (where my kitchen is located) 9is like a refrigerator. I had to bring the bread to my living room and warm it next to the wood stove to speed the fermentation process. Anyhow, here’s my method, and it came out pretty good.

If I recall correctly Peter Reinhart uses milk or butter or yogurt in his dough (I may be wrong…I haven’t looked at the book for a while), at any rate, I used a straight-dough recipe, or one without fat (ok, I used a little olive oil). The thing that is key I think, and this is something that I picked up from Peter’s book, is that when making bread with 100% whole wheat flour it is essential to soak the flour before mixing the dough.

In the bowl on the left is a sponge with 2 cups of w.w. flour, a little yeast, and 2/3 cups of water; the mixing bowl on the right contains 4 cups of w.w. flour, 1 1/3 cups water, a little salt, and a tablespoon of olive oil (no yeast). I let these sit overnight. In the morning I dissolved a little more yeast in about a quarter cup water (the small container with the spoon in it).

Then I mixed them together, first in the electric mixer then by hand, and mad the dough.

Realizing the coldness in my kitchen (something like 45F), and not having the time to allow for a 12-hour rise, I sped up the process by warming the dough on a stool next to my wood burning stove. I had it covered (of course), but the real challenge was keeping my two dogs away from it.


I divided the bread into three loaves, let it rise again (this time in the kitchen…which was a bit warmer because I was preheating the oven). The outcome was awesome.

Remnants of Summer:

Then I found myself in a quandary…here I had these 3 beautiful loaves of bread, and I knew that I’d never eat them before they went stale. I gave one away, sliced into one, but still didn’t have enough room in my teeny freezer for the remaining loaf. In order to fit the loaf in the freezer I had to take some stuff out. And if I were to take some stuff out I knew that I had to cook it…so I made dinner. Actually, I only had to remove a container of broccoli and butternut squash, both of which I grew on my tiny city plot this past summer.

I basically cooked the vegetables aglio e olio style (with garlic and olive oil) and tossed it with pasta. It’s a method for which I can cook almost any food, and a flavor I never get tired of. Besides the pasta and chicken broth, here’s the basic ingredients I used: squash, broccoli, garlic, and hot peppers.

I sauteed everything in a little olive oil.

Added enough cup or two of chicken broth, and allowed it to cook the vegetables and reduce to concentrate it’s flavor.

Then tossed it with whole wheat pasta and Romano cheese

What’s up with The Gas Prices?

Really? What is up? Two years ago we were at the very same price for gas per gallon as we are today (in Buffalo). Then we went on a roller coaster ride and we’re back where we started. Check out this chart I found at buffalogasprices.com:

Anyhow, I don’t care what the price of gas is I still far prefer my bicycle to my gas-powered vehicle. Here’s a few cartoons I came across that reflect this sentiment:



Super-Ripe Kim Chi:

Lastly, I had to include a few pictures of my latest batch of kim chi (cabbage and peppers grown in the back yard this past summer). It is by far the best batch I have ever made, and it is literally alive with flavor and probiotics. It has an effervescence the almost sizzles on your tongue. Check out the book and/or website, Wild Fermentation, if you want to learn to make it.