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Kimchi Crazy

January 27, 2012

How could I not be?  True, I won’t eat Dukguk just because it’s the New Year if I don’t feel like eating it.  But Kimchi?  Kimchi is in a league of its own.  Bold Red in color…like well, blood.  It’s literally in a Korean persons blood… it’s scent alone is undeniable.  Ever open up a Korean ladies fridge?  It’s an unforgettable smell.  Oh so carefully do I have to tuck my boxes of butter as far and away as I can from my big ole’ bucket o’ Kimchi.  However stinky, I wouldn’t dream of parting ways with it just to maintain a lemony fresh kitchen.  Even I am guilty of an occasional anorexic fridge.  Those days, I can still at the very least, rely on my old friend Kimchi.  It’s always there.  Humble and quiet (except again for it’s undeniably strong scent) and so laid back in that it will allow you the freedom to do so much considering it’s just one dish.  Kimchi Pancakes, Kimchi Potstickers, Kimchi Jjigae, Kimchi Fried Rice, Kimchi Noodles…not to mention all the different varieties of Kimchi that can be made in the first place…Kimchi made of Radish, any type of Cabbage, Cucumbers, Scallions, Chives…I mean, the possibilities are endless!!!

What you will need for Kkaktugi:

  • 10 c cubed Korean Radish + Cold Water + 2 tb Coarse Sea Salt (regular Salt will not do)
    • Set this aside for 30-45 minutes, afterwards drain and rinse twice.
  • 2 tb Sweet Rice Flour + 1 c Water
    • Cook until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble…remember to cool it before mixing
  • 1/2 c Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3 tb Baby Brine Shrimp + 2 tb Fish Sauce
  • 3 tb Garlic
  • 1 tb Ginger
  • 1/2 Apple 
  • 1/2 tb Sugar

     -Mix the cooled Rice Mixture + all of the components for the “Red Paste”
    -You can sub Sweet Rice Flour for conventional Flour and the Baby Brine Shrimp/Fish Sauce for Soy Sauce but the taste will never be the same.
    -Gently begin to massage the combined paste onto your newly bathed Radish Cubes until the whole thing achieves a deeper red color than when you first started.
    -I store mine in specially made “Kimchi Tupperware” or Long Cylinder Glass Jars but really anything can work.  Just make sure you close the lid tight and keep in mind that it may stain your plastic containers (I hear spraying it down with cooking spray first prevents staining but cannot attest to this since I’ve never tried it) and that your container will, from then on, smell of Kimchi.  (I like to swish a bit of regular Vinegar in whatever was holding my Kimchi and rinse with cold water and this helps a great deal).
    -Keep the Kimchi on your countertop for at least a day, then refrigerate it.  (this is to jump start fermentation so if you’re weirded out by this step, skip it and just store it in the fridge).
    -I personally wait at least a week before digging into my Radish Kimchi (you’ll start noticing bubbles on the surface when it’s definitely ready to eat).
    -Because the Salt content is great, it will naturally draw out moisture.  To prevent molding, just make sure you turn over your prepared Radish every so often or spoon some of the “sauce” on top of the Kimchi.

    Your crazy Kimchi Lady (again) =D
    Love,
    Your Squishy Monster

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