Sunday, March 7, 2010

KIMCHI


Kim Chi ~ Tell me how cute a name is that? Bimbim Bap ~ Tell me how cute a name is that? Soondooboo Jiigae? Kimchi Bokeum Bap? Have I made my point? And aren't those Korean actors and actresses just as cute too? I know my nieces definitely think they are.

And as cute as the name may very well be....kimchi is not a photogenic food, like rendang. It took me all 2 days of sweat, sweat and sweat to come up with some decent photographs. After all it was simply cabbage on a plate and the other just a brown mash of meat.


But like the Malaysian rendang there is nothing plain about the Korean kimchi. The spiciness from the chillie and the flavours from the garlic, grated ginger and a sweet edge from the fruit puree that I had used made it a fantastic appetizer. Plus I've had this craving for some kimchi-jeon (kimchi pancakes) ever since I saw photographs of my nieces enjoying a Korean meal in Korea with the said pancake in full view of my computer screen.


I was told by a lady herbalist that cayenne pepper was the closest that I could get to Korean chiilie flakes or chillie paste. I chose to believe her because I wasn't about to scavenge all over town in the present scorching weather in search of something that I may never find.


 I had also searched blogs for the recipe. Simple they all say and indeed it was. Finally I used a combination of  recipes from Closet Cooking and Dr. Ben Kim's site. Two very interesting and informative sites. 

I'm not sure if it will past the test with a Korean but it was certainly good enough for me and my craving. 

Tomorrow it will be kimchi-jeon for me lunch! YUMMM

The recipe ~ 


1 napa cabbage
1/2 cup salt
1 cup gochugaru (Korean chillie flakes) I used 1/2 cup cayenne pepper instead
3-4 stalks spring onions
4 cloves garlic
1 in grated ginger
2 T fish sauce
puree from 1/2 apple, and 1/2 pear as per Dr. Ben Kim's recipe


Seperate the cabbage leaves and trim away the hard core. Then slice the cabbage leaves to one inch lengths.


Place one layer of the cut cabbage in a stainles steel bowl and sprinkle some salt over it. The proceed likewise with the rest of the cabbage , sprinkling salt over each layer. Cover with a plate and leave for about 4 hours until the cabbage has softened.


The salt acts as a preservative for the pickle. Rinse away the salt from the cabbage and drain and put the cabbage in a  bowl.

Chop the spring onions into 1 inch lengths, grate the ginger, mince the garlic, place in bowl and to all of these add the fish sauce. Mix. Add the pureed fruits and mix again. Add this mixture to the to the cabbage and sprinkle on the gochugaru. Mix well. Bottle the kimchi and leave to stand for 3 days at room temperature and then keep in the refrigerator. Will keep for a month.


I only let it stand for 24 hours at room temperature because it is so humid and hot here. 




PS  ~ Some of you may find 1/2 cup of cayenne a little too much....I find it a little too spicy myself ....so perhaps 1/4 would be moderately spicy.


Do take note ~ An anonymous reader has pointed out in the comment list that...."kimchi is FERMENTED like yoghurt and miso. It is not just 'pickled'". My sincere apologies for overlooking the difference. I must be more careful.

54 comments:

La Table De Nana said...

I have heard a lot about this dish..I this I would like it..loving cabbage and spicy and all:)
It's not balmy here but it's been beautiful..I have toiled on days like yours making ketchups etc..it's all worth it in the long run isn't it?

I think yours looks perfect..with a bit of crunch?

Those words are cute..I must say the art of Bento boxes that I have seen on certain sites are darling too..I am sure you do them and like them?

Bravo on your Kimchi!

Pam said...

I love cabbage and have wanted to try this many times. Now, I will have to go for it. Thanks for all the info!

Allie and Pattie said...

It looks wonderful, but I'm not sure I can survive a half cup of cayenne? I may play with this a bit because now I'm intrigued. And I do so love the name
xoxo Pattie

Cathy said...

I've never made kimchi because I assumed it was a long, complicated process. Your version looks delicious and you've photographed it so beautifully. 1/2 cup cayenne? Oh dear, it sounds lethal.

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

I love kimchi -- A LOT!! I think you've hit the spot: I'm a huge Korean food fan! LOL! Gotta agree that the names sound fun. But, it's just that we don't understand what they're saying.

Actually, I do wanna make kimchi. But, I probably have to wait till we've moved. There's no space for me to store those jars now in this current house of mine! Argh ...

Thanks for sharing, Zurin! How I wish I can try yours. Now, you've got tons of recipes to try, in which kimchi is a main ingredient, e.g. the Korean kimchi fritters!!

KennyT said...

Wow, Zurin you make your own kimchi, this is impressive!

I am with your niece, those Korean actors and actresses are cute, and my ex is a Korean!! hahaha

Linda said...

This looks wonderful Zu!
I have never even thought of making it myself...
Good for you!

Fimère said...

ton kimchi bien épicé et parfumé me semble délicieux et appétissant merci pour cette recette
bonne soirée

Jade said...

Oh I love kimchi!!! and I always have napa cabbage lying around somewhere! Do post pics of your pancakes as well..they sound scrumptious:)

Federica said...

wow che meraviglia!!! complimenti!!

Pam said...

I want to make this too! And when I do, I hope I find pretty yellow plates like yours to use!

Chow and Chatter said...

oh come on great snaps love kimchi

pigpigscorner said...

oh this reminds me of the chili powder I bought just to mkae this! kimchi fried rice...kimchi stew..yum!

Ellie said...

I love kimchi, great appetizer for meal. Yours look very authentic. Would love to be able to taste some off the screen.

Percicilan said...

Is there anything (foodwise) you CANNOT DO????
You seem to have those magical finger poof and the food is ready and gorgeous.. tsk tsk tsk

Trix said...

Oh my, I adore spicy food and love kimchi, and I am very curious to see how I can deal with that much cayenne! I bet it's delicious - it would make me turn red and sweat for sure!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Your kimchi looks fantatsic Zurin! Hehe at 1/2 cup of cayenne, my mum would love that! :D

Anonymous said...

Kimchi is FERMENTED dish like yogurt and miso. It's not just "pickled'.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

What a coincidence! I was making another Korean dish, Jachangmyeon (Chinese bean paste noodle) yesterday! Hope I get to post it soon. I know that every Korean family will make their kimchi and let it cure in a clay urn.... now you are making this just like the Koreans, impressive!

Faida said...

I like Kimchi. All along I thought it tooks months to prepare. I can wait for 4 hours. I will try this. That was very brave of you aunty , to try making kimchi. thanks for the recipe. I love it.

zurin said...

Good morning everyone! gosh it nice to wake up to all your comments ^^ it makes my day already (^^)

Monique,

m afraid I don't do bento altho I know how cute they are....adorable..n yes its always worth making something that will last a long time...like keeping a treasure ^^

Anonymous,

Yes ur so right it is fermented not just pickled. I guess I overlooked the difference. My deepest apologies if I offended you. I will put it right immediately. I wish you were not anonymous though!^_^

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

I love kim chi! With sticky rice ... yum!!! I have to try making this too ... it looks so delicious and appetising. Store-bought ones taste terrible. Yours is bright and sunny and just sedap. Beautiful kim chi, Zu!!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

I like Kimchi as well, but too bad, kids doesn't appreciate this, next time I go your house and try this, ok? hehehe..

Juli Herman said...

mummy eat with nasi ke? pedas ni sedapla..use cili boh cannot?

Elizabeth and Jared said...

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh kimchi is my favourite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sook said...

Oh kimchi!! I am so impressed that you made this kimchi! I love kimchi. My kimchi is almost gone so I need to make some more. :)

kat said...

I just discovered kimchi goes incredibly well with chicken luncheon meat. :)

I usually order my kimchi from this Korean lady who sells her homemade kimchi. And since I have had the pleasure of sampling homecooked Korean food, hence my distaste at some of the so-called Korean restaurants in KL. Strange that of all places, I discovered the joys of Korean food in AD.. :D

3 hungry tummies said...

It certainly will taste better with age! My friend's mother has a fridge just for her different types of kimchi :)
You have done well!

Anh said...

I have always wanted to make kimchi. You remind me! :)

Divina Pe said...

Have you been doing kimchi at the same time? I just made kimchi last Saturday. I also used Dr. Ben Kim's recipe as a guide but then I added some grated carrots to mine. I've been making them every now and then.

Mary said...

You have sold me. We have a small Korean market where it can be purchased. I love to use a small portion of it in grilled hamburgers that I then top with a bulgogi sauce.

MaryMoh said...

Kimchi....my favourite. I've just made a big batch this morning. My daughter can just eat like that without rice!

Angie's Recipes said...

Love pickles....Korean, Chinese or even German! Just appetizing!

Kevin said...

Your kimchi looks great! I look forward to seeing what you will do with it.

Duchess of Tea said...

Darling my daughter loves Kimchi. It is difficult to find here, I normally purchase it in SOuth of France, believe it or not. By the way, the photos came out great, love the plate design.

Love & Hugs
Duchess

Fresh Local and Best said...

I love kimchi, it's chock full of probiotics and is known as a good cure for colds. Great job!

zurin said...

Thanks everyone for the visits and lovely comments....I hope you all have a wonderful day! ^.^

The Gypsy Chef said...

Zurin, Beautiful job! Your kimchi looks devine. I will give this recipe a go!
Pam

Cheah said...

Your kimchi looks fab! Think I can have some as an appetiser. The pics are very colourful too.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, the cayenne is not even close in flavor to the Korean chili flakes. I found the pepper flakes at my local korean market. If you can find an H Mart or 99 Ranch near you that would help. Also, if you can't find one, look up Korean churches in your area and someone there will totally know where in your community you can get the proper korean dried pepper.

Through My Kitchen Window said...

Dear zurin, you made me laugh so much with your sweat, sweat, sweat comment. Something we both have a little in common I suspect. Often the plainest looking dishes taste the best and the most vibrant looking ones can be a letdown. Knowing you, I am sure your "cute" Kimchi is a big hit.

Stella said...

I love Kimchi. I never even thought to make it at home due to the fermenting process. I always buy it when I'm in Atlanta at the Asian market. I might have to try this version!

zurin said...

Anon, tq for the tips. I don't think we have such Korean churches here or the other places that u mentioned...but i will definitely do a little searching around the next time...there are quite a number of Koreans around so hopefully i'll bump into them, be brave and ask. ^^

U've made me very curious about korean chillie flakes now....I must find some.tq again.

Barbara said...

What? You didn't bury it? ;)

I am not a kimchi fan...just the 1/2 cup of cayenne pepper made my tummy roll over. However, my daughter adores it so I am sending her your URL. She will be in kimchi heaven!

Kitchen Butterfly said...

I've been wanting to make kimchi for so long.....cause I've heard of it but never tasted it. It looks delish and right up my alley.....

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Oh this is one of my favorite side dishes. In fact, when I go to Korean restaurants, I can literally make a meal out of kimchi and other banchan alone! Unfortunately, the boyfriend won't go near me after eating it hehe.

petite nyonya said...

Just had Korean food yesterday, my favorite!..and my sis mentioned that she wants to try to make kimchi someday. Your post is perfect timing.

2 Stews said...

Kim Chi is one thing I haven't tried yet. I thought my daughter would make it for me when she returned from Seoul. I'll send this post to her and let her give it a go while she is over there.

Thanks Zurin, once again for your delectable diligence.

Diane

Amy @ cookbookmaniac said...

I recently purchased a cookbook with a recipe of kimchi. I have been fascinated ever since. I then stumble onto your lovely blog and ready this wonderful post. I think I might be making this sooner rather than later.
Thank you for sharing.

vickys said...

If you sent over some of that DELICIOUS LOOKING KIMCHI...I could think of 100 things I would love to add it to. Kimchi soup, kimchi fried rice,...mmmm!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this recipe, Zurin! I've just made my first kimchi and it's fresh and yummy! Taste testers (hubbie and friend) also loved it so I will be making more when we run out. After endless research I found your recipe the simplest and liked the ingredients involved. I really didn't want to add fish or prawns like other recipes had suggested. Aunthentic or not, I don't really care. I think food should be adapted for our tastes. Maybe we'll call this 'modern kimchi' :)

zurin said...

Hi Anon, thank you for trying. :)) M so glad you and ur hub nfriend liked it.. Believe it or not I still have some kimchi in teh fridge since I made this..its still fantastic if not better after the long fermentation...I just made a kimchi omelette 2 days ago with some prawns in it...oh SO delicious! Do try it :))

Anonymous said...

awesome kimchi..! one quick question..uhmm im planning to make on right now and uhmm i can't seem to find a korean store around here but i have a jar full of cayenne peppers..does it still taste authentic or is there a "slight" difference? just curious..thanks! will wait for the answer...hehehe im afraid i might waste my vegetables if i try making one..hehe (EL)

zurin said...

I have never tried the authentic one so I really cant tell. But it tastes all right to me. Just make a little and see if you like it.

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