kimchi

Unbeknownst to many America eaters, kimchi is simply a pickling technique, not a single item and many different ingredients can be kimchi’d

Five Quick Kimchis to Keep in Your Fridge. Always.

Staff Writer
Recipes and how-to courtesy of Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard, authors of 'Koreatown: A Cookbook'

Recipes courtesy of Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard, authors of Koreatown: A Cookbook; click here to purchase your own copy.  For more with Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard, be sure to check out the Koreatown event at the 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival.

A common perception is that kimchi refers to the spicy pickled cabbage you find anywhere grape jelly, Coke Zero and sriracha are sold, which is basically every store these days. Indeed, napa cabbage kimchi is one of the most popular types, but really, kimchi is simply a pickling technique, not a single item. Many things, like cucumbers, chives, and apples, can also be kimchi’d. The recipe we offer here is a good place to start; it’s a flavorful kimchi base that can be used to pickle a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, though five in particular pop into our heads. Here's how to do it:

How To Make A Kimichi Marinade 

This is what gives the kimchi its guts: a blend of sweetness, heat, and brininess. Using a quality fish sauce is important, so we prefer to spend a little bit extra on a smaller-batch Vietnamese brand called Red Boat. This basic recipe makes enough marinade for one pound of vegetables. 

  • ½ cup peeled, cored and chopped Asian pear
  • ½ cup coarsely ground gochugaru
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger

Add the pear, gochugaru, fish sauce, garlic, sugar and ginger to a food processor and run until smooth.

How To Make A Cure Mix

This simple cure is used to draw out extra liquid and add additional seasoning. This recipe makes six tablespoons of cure.

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and salt.

NOW YOU ARE READY TO KIMCHI!

Kimichi Recipe #1: Persian Cucumber 

Persian cucumbers are easily found and incredibly refreshing, which is why they’re a banchan fixture. You can also substitute kirby or English varieties; just make sure you drain the excess liquid before adding the kimchi marinade.

  • 1 pound Persian cucumbers, sliced ¼ inch thick

In a large pickling jar or lidded container, combine the cucumber and 1 tablespoon of the cure mix; let sit 15 minutes. Drain the excess liquid, then add 1 cup of the kimchi marinade, stirring to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. This kimchi will keep up to 1 week, refrigerated.

Kimichi Recipe #2: Daikon Radish 

Daikon radish is another common kimchi, which soaks up the marinade phenomenally well and remains addictively crisp for a few days.

  • 4 pounds daikon radish, trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

In a large pickling jar or lidded container, combine the daikon and 4 tablespoons of the cure mix; let sit for 15 minutes. Drain the excess liquid, then add 1 cup of the kimchi marinade, stirring to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. This kimchi will keep up to 2 weeks, refrigerated, but is at its crispest within a few days.

Kimichi Recipe #3: Garlic Chive or Spring Onion 

One of our all-time favorites is garlic chives, which are different than regular chives and can be found at most Asian grocery stores. Garlic chives are longer and have flatter leaves. The flavor is milder and slightly sweet. You can also use spring onions or—hell we’re going to say it—ramps.

  • 1 pound garlic chives or spring onions, cut into 2-inch batons

In a large pickling jar or lidded container, combine the chives and 1 cup of the kimchi marinade and refrigerate for 1 day. This kimchi will keep up to 2 weeks, refrigerated.

Kimichi Recipe #4: Boy Choy

Bok choy is a nice substitution for napa cabbage. It’s neutral and absorbs the kimchi marinade really well while preserving a bit of crunch. It also looks really cool in the jar and on the plate.

  • 1 pound baby bok choy, washed thoroughly, trimmed and cut in half

In a large pickling jar or lidded container, combine the baby bok choy and 2 tablespoons of the cure mix; let sit 15 minutes. Drain the excess liquid, then add 1 cup of the kimchi marinade, stirring to coat. Refrigerate for 2 days. This kimchi will keep 1 week, refrigerated.

Kimichi Recipe #5: Pineapple 

Pineapple is our own invention, and we just have to pat ourselves on the back a little bit for it. When we first made it in the test kitchen, we couldn’t stop eating it—with all its sweetness and acid and spice and tang and funk. It goes incredibly well with grilled meat, on a taco or with a bowl of ramyun. And in general, if you have any leftover marinade, dig through your refrigerator to see what else can be kimchi’d.

  • 1 large pineapple, trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

In a large pickling jar or lidded container, combine the pineapple and 1 cup of the kimchi marinade, stirring to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. This kimchi will keep up to 1 week, refrigerated—but honestly, it’s not going to last that long.

Recipes courtesy of Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard, authors of Koreatown: A CookbookClick here to purchase your own copy.  

For more with Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard, be sure to check out the Koreatown event at the 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival.

 

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