Sunday, May 25, 2008

Kimchi - Day 7

Here's the finished kimchi a week later. I ended up letting it ferment for 4 days on the counter and then put it in the fridge.

The only thing I would change is to add some additional salt either with the brining liquid or the pepper mixture. Actually I'm going to add optional salt to the recipe now. Otherwise it is fantastic!

I have eaten a jar and a half so far. Better make some more!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Kimchi Update

This is my kimchi now after a day of sitting out. I ended up putting it in two glass jars last night because the tupperware I was using wasn't 100% airtight.

As you can see, the cabbage has released a ton of liquid since yesterday. It should be ready sometime tomorrow or the next day. I've been reading that when tiny bubbles form at the top the fermenting process has started and it can go in the fridge.

Can't wait to taste it!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cabbage & Radish Kimchi

I *love* Korean food but as any vegan knows, it is one of the most vegan unfriendly cuisines out there. I miss kimchi a lot so I finally decided to make my own. Korean shops are pretty rare around these parts so I had to order my Gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder/flakes) from HMart (along with a ton of other stuff including red pepper paste for other dishes).

I tried a few months ago but did not have the proper ingredients — namely Gochugaru. Despite what others say, it can NOT be substituted! Anyway, that first attempt was a total failure. This is attempt number two and even though it hasn't fermented yet, I think this is going to be very tasty. It was hard not to keep munching on it when I was mixing it up.

The picture above is my version of cabbage kimchi with radish, green onions, garlic and ginger ready to ferment. My "recipe" is a combination of a bunch of different ones I've seen on the internet and in a couple of cookbooks. I included a range for amounts of the last few ingredients because everyone's tastes vary. Next time I'll probably add even more Gochugaru!

Cabbage & Radish Kimchi

1 large head nappa cabbage
salt water (ratio: 4 cups water + 1 tbsp salt) or 1/4 to 1/2 cup salt (see step 1)
1 small bunch green/spring onions, chopped
1 bunch mild radish, sliced (I used "easter egg" radish because I didn't have daikon)
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 to 2 tbsp sugar (to taste)
2 to 4 tbsp soy sauce (to taste)
2 to 6+ tbsp gochugaru (to taste)
salt (optional, to taste)
  1. Clean and chop cabbage into 2" pieces and place in a large bowl and use either the less salty or saltier method.

    For a less salty kimchi, cover the cabbage with salt water mixture and weight cabbage down with a plate so that it is completely submerged. Leave out for 4 hours.

    For a saltier kimchi, sprinkle the kimchi with 1/4 to 1/2 cup salt and mix well. Leave out for 1.5 to 2 hours.

  2. Drain and rinse cabbage well and squeeze out as much water as possible. Toss with the green onion, radish, garlic and ginger.

  3. In a bowl, mix the sugar, soy, gochugaru, salt (optional, to taste) and a little water so that it becomes a medium-paste (not too thick and not too thin). I used about 4 tbsp of gochugaru in the picture above but then later added 3 more tbsps (I like things spicy!). Mix the paste with the cabbage mixture until every piece of cabbage is coated. Taste a piece and adjust seasonings accordingly. If it's too salty for your tastes, add some extra water.

  4. Put the cabbage mixture in a tupperware or large jar and cover tightly. If you prefer your kimchi "fresh" and unfermented, you can eat it now or put it directly in the fridge. If you like kimchi more traditional (i.e., fermented), then leave out at room temperature for 2 to 4 days to ferment and then put in the fridge. Fermentation depends on temperature so the warmer it is, the faster it ferments. When you see tiny air bubbles in the kimchi, it means it's fermenting so depending on your room temperature, it might take only 2 days or 4 days.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Victory Farms CSA - Week 2

This year we joined the Victory Farms CSA. Their CSA works a bit differently than what you would normally expect with a CSA. How theirs works is that the season (which started last week or the week before) costs you $500 in total but you get $600 credit. You can show up at one or all of their three weekly spots and just pick what you want and they debit your account. Their selling prices are *very* reasonable and already much cheaper than the local health food store for local organic produce. I actually think I prefer it this way so that I can choose what I want, when I want and I don't get stuck with something I dislike in the "share" system.

The first week we picked up mixed asian greens, tuscan kale, green onions, white radishes and lettuce. We still have lettuce and radishes and they're still fresh and unwilted after a week.

This week we picked up some more tuscan kale (2 bunches), mixed asian greens (2 bunches), swiss chard, spinach and kohlrabi. I'm planning on having the kale with white beans and pasta, the swiss chard with BBQ seitan & mashed potatoes and the asian greens in bibimbap. The spinach will most likely end up as salad. Not entirely sure what I will be doing with the kohrabi but I'll figure something out.

The cats of course weren't part of the pickup. They're just being nosy. From left to right: Mr. Marbles, Abigail and Smuckers.

I'm hoping that the weekly produce pickup will inspire me to cook again!

ETA: For those of you in Toronto looking for something like a CSA, check out Food Share's Good Food Box, Front Door Organics or Green Earth Organics. I used to get the WOW Box which I *think* is now Wanigan. Anyway, those are the ones I know of and there's also the option of farmer's markets with a new one in my old stomping grounds of Trinity Bellwoods Park!
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