Recipe All - Kimchi

Tomato Kimchi

04 14 17

Photography by Selina S. Lee

Tomato Kimchi (토마토 김치)
1 med size napa cabbage
2 med size tomatoes
2 red bell peppers
⅓ cup lemon juice
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp ginger
1 tbsp sugar
sea salt

2 cups water
3-4 dried shiitake mushrooms
100g korean radish or daikon
3 pieces of cut dried kelp
½ onion

Cut napa cabbage into half then fourth vertically with the root ends intact. Cutting them ⅓ into the way and ripping apart works best. Remove outer layer and cut and clean out the root ends where it’s brown with dirt. Wash them in cold running water. Sprinkle sea salt evenly on each layer and even inner part of layer, as thicker white part of cabbage takes longer to salt brine. In a large container, add salted lukewarm water to put cabbages sit in water bath (enough but not submerged) for 2-3 hours. Flip it around every 30 minutes or so. After 2-3 hours, the cabbage leaves should be soft. Squeeze out the liquid and set it aside on a strainer.

NOTE: Considerable amount of water comes out from the napa cabbage and vegetables, so the brine should be salty enough in order to ferment well and taste good. At this stage, it should be too salty to eat.

While cabbage is salt brining, you can make the stock by adding 2 cups of water and boil it with dried shiitake mushroom, radish, dried kelp and onion for 30-40 min. You can season the broth with little bit of salt if you think your cabbage is not salty enough. Strain the stock and make sure to let the stock cool down before adding them to cabbage.

Make kimchi paste by adding chopped tomatoes (seeded) and red bell peppers (with seeds) in a blender. Putting the tomatoes at the bottom will help blend it better. Consistency should be like a smoothie, if it’s too watery, add more bell peppers. Season it with lemon juice, minced garlic, ginger and sugar. You should have at least 1.5 cup of paste to apply.

Spread the kimchi paste on each layer of napa cabbage and pour the stock over the container or a fermentation jar. If you have weights to press them down, even better. Otherwise, press them down tight when putting them into the container or jar.

Leave it out in shaded area (room temperature) for 24 hours then continue fermentation in the fridge for another 3-4 days before eating.

Rice & Noodles - Workshop

Banchan Workshop #8 Rice & Noodle

03 23 17

The first part of ‘Basic Series’ banchan workshop launched last month and it was held last month at the EatWith‘s test kitchen. There was a small group of us in the kitchen cooking and feasting. We talked about rice & noodle that you can commonly see in Korean homes and how we cooked with them. I chose two type of rice grain and two types of noodles to cook. I was able to demo Mushroom Stone Pot (Dolsot) Rice, Kimchi Fried Rice, Chives & Green Pepper Japchae and Spicy Cold Noodles with Vinaigrette Coleslaw.

In all honesty, I have to say this was the most challenging workshop I’ve hosted. I was down with a nasty flu the week before and pretty much had to stay in bed all week not being able to prep for the workshop. Luckily I had my taste buds back but I had to modify a lot of details in order not to cancel the event. It was disappointing. Sometimes the best decision is to cancel the event and not push through something when you know you are not ready for. This is something that I struggle with. I don’t know how to quit. I mean, it only took me 10 years to quit my job! The timing of this lesson could not have been any better as I’m going on my own, making every decisions. I’m beginning to feel this is what becoming an entrepreneur is like.

Since the workshop, I’ve been working on improving the recipes that I demo at the workshop. One of the feedback was that overall dishes tasted blend and not as flavorful. This is something that I want to address it in separate post but you will start to notice that there is less usage of salt (sodium) in my recipe. This has been a personal change for me and for my health but I do feel it’s important to talk about it if I’m going to continue to share recipes online. I’ll just have to suck up the embarrassment for a minute and tell you what’s been happening in my life. A separate post about this is in the pipeline.

Despite all, I want to personally thank my guests for showing up that day. Also everyone that helped out. Sometimes I truly believe I am blessed with good people around me. There is actually a word in Korean, 인복 (人福) pronounced ‘In bok‘, literally means having blessed with the right kind of people. So I hope you liked the time in the kitchen, sharing ideas and learn something new. Hope you get to try the improved and updated recipes and enjoy the photos (below)!

Table all setup for the guests. Chives pancake with some pickles and kimchi is always good as side dish in Korean table.

Today’s welcoming drink: Ginger Lemonade.

Knowing my key sauce ingredients helped build up my confidence in Korean cooking. I also made some Shim’s Savory and Sweet Sauce the night before. All ready for the cooking demo! Find a list of pantry items and seasoning ingredients on my new RESOURCES page.

All Photography by Sarah M. Park | Cultural Chromatics


Recipe All - Rice & Noodles - Kimchi

Kimchi Fried Rice

03 15 17

Photography by Sarah M. Park

You may have heard or read so much about how Korean food has finally landed in US and how much it is trending right now, all over the world. Thanks to all innovative Korean-American chefs working their way to introduce Korean food to all non-Korean palette. It makes me so happy and excited to know that most people have either heard or have tasted kimchi by now.  How so many people are interested in learning more about the cultured pickling and the process of fermentation. It also brings me great pleasure letting you all know how kimchi is cooked and transformed into many dishes in Korea. I can definitely tell you that kimchi fried rice is the most classic ‘homie’ form I can think of. I recently got to demo this dish at my latest workshop. Since then, I worked on few things to improve and bring out the bold and savory part of this dish that I was missing all this time. Check out the recipe below, hope you get to try them yourself!

Photography by Selina S. Lee

Kimchi Fried Rice (김치볶음밥)2 Servings

2 bowls of day-old (or chilled) cooked white rice
2 cups chopped kimchi
1 cup finely chopped bacon – optional
3 finely chopped green onions/scallions
2 eggs
seasoned seaweed crisp (김자반) – optional
semi-dry parsley – optional

1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce or shim’s savory sauce
1 tsp sugar

If you don’t have any leftover day-old rice, you can cook rice and cool them down in room temperature. Rice should be cooked more on the dry side. Prepare ripen kimchi by chopping them in small bite size pieces, cut bacon and  green onion by finely chopping.

1. In a large skillet or wok, add oil and green onion over med-high heat. This will create nice infused oil with sweet flavors from the onion. Add bacon and kimchi and cook it until kimchi is nice and tender (about 10 min). NOTE: If kimchi is on the sour side, you can add little bit of sugar to balance the sourness. Add soy sauce and cook for few more minutes.

2. Add cooked rice and mix in with the kimchi (and bacon) mix by turning off the heat. This will give you enough time to nicely coat the rice without overcooking it. Turn the heat back on high and fry the rest by mixing with the spatula or spoon. Add butter at the end and fry them for a minute until butter is melted in. NOTE: using the side edge of your spatula or spoon will keep the rice grains firm.

3. Make soft-fried egg and serve fried rice with seaweed crisp and dry parsley!