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Kimchi Up in Here

 
Posts: 37
Location: Thorndike, Maine
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Kimchi in the house!

Stoked on my latest batch of kimchi which marries the flavor of Maine right now. Besides the fish sauce, all the ingredients were grown in Maine, including the ginger :) Plenty of heat from Amish Chicken Heart Pepper I grew this summer.

Anyone else making kimchi this fall?
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steward
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Nice work!  That looks good.
Today is a good day to make kimchi.  I finally had a good crop of peppers so I've been looking forward to experimenting with different tweaks to my kimchi recipe.  The possibilities are endless.  I also like fermenting daikon radish with hot peppers, garlic, onion and fish sauce.  If the weather ever gets cool enough, I'll be able to harvest my daikon for that.  At least it's raining... sort of.    
 
pollinator
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Frank Giglio wrote:Kimchi in the house!

Stoked on my latest batch of kimchi which marries the flavor of Maine right now. Besides the fish sauce, all the ingredients were grown in Maine, including the ginger :) Plenty of heat from Amish Chicken Heart Pepper I grew this summer.

Anyone else making kimchi this fall?[/quote

Looks awesome, maybe next year for me.  I didn't plant any cabbage this year.   Do you have a recipe you prefer?

Scott

 
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That jar of kimchi looks like art. I was introduced to Kimchi when I lived in AK by my Native American roommate. He used to top off mashed potatoes with the stuff. He also turned me onto atichochokes with yougert dill dip as a late night munchie
 
master steward
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Frank, your post inspired me and my wife. Here's our first ever attempt at kimchi. Now the hard part: waiting.
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Frank Giglio
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Beautiful Color. Looks like a good batch. Happy to inspire you and your wife!

Cheers
Frank

 
pollinator
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I haven't attempted a kimchi yet. I am new to fermenting.  But I have loads of huge beautiful mildly hot peppers of unknown variety... I am hoping to save enough to make a batch of simple fermented peppers as my first ferment. (Problem is they are so tastey fresh, people are eating them straight off the bush before they are fully ripe.)
 
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These kimchi photos are beautiful. And Frank, ginger grown in Maine? Impressive!
 
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I hesitate to post this, because I know I have developed a serious problem, and would feel somewhat guilty if I knew this got anyone else hooked.

Kimchi Fried Rice.

Melt a very, very generous portion of butter in a pan at medium to medium-high heat.  Add kimchi (let liquid drain off each forkful you lift out of the jar), and fry it up until it starts getting browned in spots.  Dump on some cooked sticky rice (supposedly day old is best) and begin mixing it with the kimchi.  Add some kimchi juice, a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, and salt if necessary.  Allow the rice to crisp at the bottom of the pan, and then toss it and let it crisp again.  I love it just like that, but have added a fried egg on top, or sliced steak if wanting a more complete meal.  Best with very effervescent kimchi.

I typically have everything except the kimchi on hand at any given time.  When I go up to the Korean market and get a large container of kimchi it is gone faster than I care to admit, due to this dish.

Here's a question I've had for awhile, and never thought to ask at Permies:  Does the heat kill the beneficial bacteria?

 
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Fun kimchi song  By formidable vegetable sound system

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=adoBoIwwxFo
 
J. Adams
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Corrie Snell wrote:

Here's a question I've had for awhile, and never thought to ask at Permies:  Does the heat kill the beneficial bacteria?



Here's an interesting article on cooking probiotics: says that yes it kills them, but that dead probiotics might still have some different benefits (I've never heard of that before, so I'm interested in learning further about it but not yet sold on the idea)  http://www.care2.com/greenliving/does-cooking-kill-probiotics.html

 
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Kimchi Fried Rice.

Melt a very, very generous portion of butter in a pan at medium to medium-high heat. Ok Corrie, I'm hooked already. Anything that starts with a generous portion of butter (or bacon grease) usually gets my undivided attention!  I feel like Pavlov's dog salivating at the thought of this delicacy....Gotta go find some Kimchi
 
Maureen Atsali
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Yeah, the frying probably kills most of the beneficial bacteria.  Maybe just garnish with a dollop of raw kimchi or drizzle with some of the juice at plating to add some probiotics back in.  Sounds delicious!
 
Larry Bock
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As mentioned before, kimchi was an addition to mashed potatoes. Kimchi fried rice sounds wonderful. Not a vegetatarin, I imagine leftover chicken, pork or beef in it.
  Years ago, I met my niece for the first time.  We worked together on a fried rice dish, each " clearing" the next ingredient with each other. If Kimshi was there?  It would have been thrown in there.     That was over a decade ago and still remembers it as a bonding expierience.  Lol
 
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Okay... I have a question about "sticky rice".  To me that's sweet rice that's usually used for Asian deserts.  Do you mean Japanese short grain rice like they use for sushi?  I am Japanese American and find rice fried in butter kinda odd, just like I cringed when my southern born military brat childhood friend said she would only eat rice with milk and sugar.  Gross.  But my mother made a mean fried rice with fried bacon grease and bits with our leftover rice which we always seemed to have around.  Last year I made Kim Chee with daikon, Napa cabbage and bitter melon.  I didn't grow up with Kim chee... my Japanese grandma made Japanese pickles that weren't spicy.
 
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A few people above have expressed trepidation at trying to make kimchi, so I'll share my dead-easy method. (And yes, I got as crazed as someone above mentioned, but at our school we're cooking for up to 100 people, and all winter fresh veggies are not available, so I've gone a bit crazy for all kinds of food preservation and root cellaring, etc). I'll repost (and refine) two of my earlier posts here:

We have been making the kimchi below for the past six years in large amounts, and storing it for several months without a refrigerator. We store it underground in root-cellar conditions, which are just like refrigeration -- people here store potatoes and carrots three feet underground in a pit in the garden all winter, so we do the same with our tubs of kimchi and local pickles.

This recipe fills about 10 liters (2.5 gallons) of containers. Our 40 people gobble up a 10 liter tub in 3 days. You can use an assortment of smaller containers and reuse assorted commercial jars. Special jars are unnecessary.

• Cut about 10 kg (20 lbs) cabbage into bite sized pieces. Normal round cabbage works great.
• Optional: replace 2 kg (4 lb) with carrots and/or radishes, julienned (cut into narrow rectangular strips). Or add strips of a dark green cabbage leaf such as kale or collards. Or fresh chillies in halves, red or green.
• 50 g (2 oz) salt, then add more to taste. It should be lightly salty, like food. We only have iodized table salt and it works fine.
Chop the cabbage and vegetables and mix the salt throughout. Leave it covered for an hour or overnight, so it wilts a bit.

• a bunch of scallions, or an onion sliced in thin rings
• 200 g (7 oz) garlic (a bit less than half a pound)
• 200 g (7 oz) ginger
• 200 g (7 oz) powdered red chilli, but not a very hot variety. We have big dried Kashmiri chillies that give gorgeous color and flavor but only moderate heat. If using other chillies, start with less and later add more to taste. We buy whole dry red chillies and powder them in the blender, omitting some of the seeds.

Chop the garlic and ginger fine. Make a paste of them with the chilli powder and smear thoroughly throughout the vegetables, mixing the onions in. Include some of the brine that came out of the vegetables. Taste and adjust the spices and salt. It should be like a tasty salad at this point, only as spicy and as salty as you like it.

Pack tight into clean containers (not metal since it could rust). Cover as airtight as possible, and stand in a warm place for about 5 - 7 days. We keep them in a sunny windowsill or solar heated greenhouse, which probably reaches 27˚C (80˚F) in the day and drops to 13˚C (55˚F) at night. Stand the containers on a tray in case they ooze garlicky juice.

Keep tasting it, and when it’s nice and sour, either eat it soon, or refrigerate it. After it has fermented fully in the warmth, we wrap the containers in plastic and bury them 1 m (3 ft) deep in the garden, the same way we root-cellar potatoes over the cold winter here. It is if anything, even more delicious four months later at the tail end of winter. It stays good at least a week or two at cool room temperature, but eventually goes over-sour.

We have made several hundred liters of kimchi and Ladakhi pickle with no airlock, and it always comes out delicious, and stays good for at least 7 months in cool storage. We make huge amounts every October because there will be no fresh veggies available until April or May except from our root cellar and greenhouses.

We reuse 15-liter cooking-oil containers (food-safe) with wide-mouth screw tops, not airtight. We don't even weigh down the top of the veg or anything, and it stays perfect, every time. We just pack it in as hard as we can, leave some headroom for juice bubbling up, put the top on, and stand it on a tray in a sunny window. For the first several days, liquid oozes up and out. When it settles down after a week or so, we store them in the cool root cellar for the rest of winter.

My experience:
-- Airlock is unnecessary for a salted, cabbage-dominated ferment.
-- Ferments made with mostly cabbage-family plants and enough salt are always successful.
-- Sunlight or dark has no effect. It is just cultural tradition one way or the other, and feelings run strong.
-- Keep it in the warm for about a week until it's sour and tasty, and the bubbling up has slowed. Then don't forget to shift it to cool storage, so it will stay good for months. If you keep it in the warm place too long, it can go over-sour.
-- I can testify that garlic, oil, and/or specific spices make no difference to successful fermentation and preservation.



 
Corrie Snell
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Dado Scooter,  I've been using the organic Koda Farms Kokuho Rose "medium grain rice" lately, but I've made it in the past with the non-organic Koda Farms sho-chiku-bai "short grain sweet rice" (rice).  As a "white girl" who grew up mainly in Montana, "sticky rice" to me is anything that's sticky, as in, NOT plain white, long-grain rice!  I remember the very ignorant question I posed as a 19-20-year-old to a new Asian friend, "how do you make sticky rice?"  Not even being aware that there were different varieties, assuming that it was just a special method of preparation for regular ol' white rice.  Anyway, it cooks up in a snap in my beloved induction rice cooker.  I've learned over the years to put a touch less water in than the indicated amount for cooking sweet or sushi rice, as I like it a bit drier and fluffier, and I think this helps achieve the leftover rice effect.

I know, the butter thing seems weird.  But, trust me, it works.  However, I know that there can be palate things with different cultures...like rootbeer tasting like medicine to my Czech friend in High School, or cheese tasting horrible to many Asian palates...so maybe it won't work for you.  But, the first time I had kimchi fried rice was from a Korean place on South Tacoma Way in Lakewood, WA, and it took the proprietress a couple tries to get me to order it.  I'd loved kimchi for awhile, but always ate it cold and couldn't imagine liking it warmed up.  When I finally ordered it and tried it, I quickly glanced around to gauge how well my dining companions were liking it.  I wanted to eat the rest of it, in private, and not share.  Got my fix several more times while living in that area, then found myself back in Montana with no Korean restaurants for hundreds of miles.  So, as I'd often had to do, I figured out how to make the "exotic" dish myself.  Thankfully, little jars of kimchi are now available in most grocery stores there, but we are also lucky to have a little Asian grocery store in town, where the owners take a trip to Seattle every few weeks and come back with big containers.  I remember checking a book out from the library, "Koreatown: A Cookbook," by Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard, that had a recipe that called for butter (AND bacon grease, I think, John Duffy!), and several recipes online call for butter, too.  The most important thing was that I wanted it to taste like the version I'd fallen in love with.  I took a stab at it, and it turned out pretty much exactly like I remembered!  And now I have a very serious kimchi fried rice problem.

Another note on the weird butter/kimchi combo...I remember reading about an unusual "spaghetti" (again, "white girl from Montana" use of the word) sauce recipe, by a well-known Italian chef, that swore the secret ingredient was butter...never have tried that, but I imagine it has a similar effect as in kimchi fried rice, enriching and rounding out the flavor.  I have taken to adding a splash of fish sauce to all kinds of things that I want to umami-fy, though!  And, speaking of fish sauce and kimchi, here's a link to a blog post by a lady here in the Bay Area who wrote about making her own...for the OP, Frank Giglio, living in Maine, maybe there's some kind of fish available that you could ferment for next year's batch!

And, thanks for the link, J. Adams, it is interesting.  Just as fermented foods are common around the world, cooking those fermented foods is also common...you'd think that despite not knowing the science, these traditional societies would have figured out that cooking the fermented food makes it less healthy, somehow, if it did.  I've also wondered if stomach acid kills pro-biotics, and just doing a quick internet search, it seems that it does/can.  But, my main takeaway is, go figure, we don't have all the answers yet!  I do believe these foods are good for me, though, and like John Duffy and Pavlov's dogs, start salivating when I think of pickles, kimchi, or sauerkraut when hungry.  I take that as a message from my body, "YES, give me that!"

I'll have to give the kimchi-topped mashed potatoes a try, Larry Bock!

I'll keep my eye out for napa cabbage at the farmers' market next weekend.  I'm inspired to get some kimchi up in here, too!!!  

This video is really inspiring, and I think it helps to see it done for those of us who are slightly intimidated about doing it for the first time.  And, she's so cute!  I love how we're instructed to "gently and politely" pull the cabbage halves apart.


 
Frank Giglio
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I currently have a batch of mackerel fish sauce in the works, which when complete, would allow me to make a 100% Maine grown/sourced kimchi!
 
Corrie Snell
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Frank Giglio wrote:I currently have a batch of mackerel fish sauce in the works, which when complete, would allow me to make a 100% Maine grown/sourced kimchi!



That is really awesome, and I can't wait to hear how it turns out!
 
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