Radish Kimchi – Novice Recipe!

It’s about time. It’s Kimchi time! Kimchi is a staple dish in Korean people’s everyday lives. I should say every meal, actually. Not only do Korean people eat this spicy, fermented vegetable side dish with every single meal, but they also cook other dishes with it and it’s a whole new level. The most common kimchi is made with napa cabbage. However, when we went to Hollins Farm in Delaplace, VA this weekend to look at their pumpkin patch, we ended up getting more things than we needed (of course), among which were radishes!

To be honest, I’d never made kimchi myself before. Looking at the fresh radishes, however, I just couldn’t let them go. I had to make kimchi with them! Plus, radish kimchi is one of the easiest to make. 🙂 With a little help of the Internet and from my mom, I managed to do it and it’s gonna taste YUMMY!! You can eat kimchi as soon as you make it but it’s supposed to be “fermented”, meaning you gotta wait!

So here’s what I did!

※ What you need: 1 big daikon radish (or the same amount of a bunch of smaller ones), 3 Tbsp of red pepper flakes, 4 Tbsp of fish sauce (Korean anchovy sauce), 1 Tbsp of minced garlic, 1/2 Tbsp of minced ginger, rice flour paste, 1 tbsp of sugar, scallions, onions, and 4-5 Tbsp of sea salt

1. Cut the stems off the roots. Clean the roots thoroughly and peel the skin if necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Dice the radishes. Sprinkle sea salt over the diced radishes and let them sit for 3 hours. Give them a little toss here and there in the meantime. The point of salting the radish is to get the moisture out of the radish so the taste doesn’t get affected by the moisture. You will be AMAZED to see how much “water” the radishes let out for three hours. Even after this step, you will see a lot of “liquid” you didn’t expect later on when your kimchi is sitting in the refrigerator. In 3 hours, rinse them and put them in a colander.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Rice flour paste! Sweet rice, aka chapssal, is usually used when making rice cakes. This flour is easily found in any Asian grocery stores. However, according to my mom, just regular flour should work as well. Mix 3 Tbsp of rice flour with the same amount of water. Turn the stove on. Mild heat. You have to keep stirring. Otherwise, it’s going to burn really fast. When the paste get to the consistency in the picture. Turn it off. Let it cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Don’t forget about the stems! Some people don’t even bother to use them. Others cook them and dry them to make another dish. But I just put them in my kimchi. Wash them thoroughly and cut them so they are about 2-3 inches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 5. Let’s mix them! As you can see, the radishes, stems, thin strips of onions, minced garlic, minced ginger, red pepper flakes, a little bit of sugar, and the rice flour paste are all getting mixed in a bowl. Of course, this is when the fish sauce goes in! I wouldn’t really try to smell the fish sauce itself. It’s pretty strong! 😉 And use your hand to mix them! Kimchi tastes so much better that way. As you can imagine, it’s got a strong flavor so I always use the plastic gloves.

 

 

 

 

 

6. Kimchi is almost ready! Get a glass jar or any glass container and put your kimchi in it. I say a glass jar because (I’m gonna be honest) once plastic containers  have kimchi in them, they are done. lol Korean people have a Gimjang day and that’s when they make all their kimchi for the year. And they use cool looking jars and bury them under ground so the kimchi get properly fermented. We don’t need to get all that fancy though. 😉 All we need is a couple of days. Afterwards, keep it refrigerated and you should be able to enjoy it within a week! Kimchi is one of those things that taste different every time. Enjoy!

Make your own pickles! Don’t forget Soju!

There’s nothing easier than making home-made pickles! The pickled cucumbers are traditional ones that you see in the supermarket. However, the sexy, dark one on the right side is what I call “Grandma Pickles“! You know why they are great? Even my grandma, who is a notorious cook, can make these pickles and they are so yummy! So anyone can make them and they taste heavenly especially with BBQ’d meat! I usually put these pickles on the table when we have samgyeopsal! That’s a cut of pork belly and it’s gonna have to be another seperate post, if not, a book!

Here’s the simplest secret recipe >>>>>> vinegar : sugar : soy sauce : soju = 1 : 1 : 1 : 1 

You can put them all in a pot and boil. When it gets to a boil, turn it off and wait a couple minutes for it to cool down. You wanna pour the yumminess onto cut-up veggies when it’s still hot. Obviously, use a glass jar. 😉

You can pretty much pickle ANYTHING. In the picture are banana peppers (which I love!) and onions. I put a couple of garlic cloves and a few pieces of jalapenos for the flavor as well. My mom sometimes uses carrots, cucumbers and radish too, which are all great. If you don’t like anything too salty, add a half portion of water. 😉

What’s different here is the thing called SOJU! Soju is a what I call “Korean vodka”. It doesn’t really have any strong taste but Korean people for some reason seem to love this. It usually has 20% alcohol and people drink it out of shotglasses, usually in a “bottoms-up” pace. They say “Gun-Bay” or “One Shot” before they empty their glasses. How old you are really matters in Korea so if you are younger, you have to pour soju with two hands. It’s all about showing respect. It’s a dollar in Korea but you gotta pay at least $5 a bottle here in the states, depending on where you are. Most ABC stores in VA carry them so maybe get two bottles and use one for your pickels and the other for some dinner entertainment!

If you do make my GRANDMA PICKLES, keep me posted! Let me know how they come out 🙂

Cold Soba Noodles when it’s 100 degrees out!

 

Cold Soba Noodles! It’s the time of the year and today was perfect weather for these mouthwatering buckwheat noodles in a cold dashi broth! These are my favorite summer food.

What is soba? It’s a Japanese word, which means buckwheat (I am guessing it’s not gluten free?? I have no idea, because I don’t have any special dietary needs. I can eat literally EVERYTHING!). These noodles made of soba are known to be rich in amino acids and antioxidants. They are very easy to digest as well. Girls seem to love these noodles in Asian countries because these are “healthier”, meaning you won’t get too fat from them. 😉

Then what is dashi? Dashi is basically a fish broth or stock. In this case, it’s seasoned with soy sauce. I could have made the broth but, after a long day of work, I feel lazy too. So I buy the magic bottle! You can easily find this sauce at Asian stores. Look for “zarusoba sauce” or “tsuyu”. This sauce is really strong but all you have to do is pour this into a bowl of cold water. That’s it. No cooking involved here at all! I do sauce:water=1:5 but if you want a little more flavor, it’s your call.

Super Simple Soba Noodle Recipe!

1. Get the broth ready with the sauce.

2. Boil water and cook the noodles for 6-7 minutes.

3. Rinse the noodles with running, cold water. Let them drain and sit there.

4. Things that go perfectly well with this: finely chopped radish, wasabi, and nori(awesome kind of seaweed)!

5. Ready to serve: Get the broth(I usually put a couple ice cubes in it too), put the noodles in, mix the broth with some radish, wasabi and nori and now ENJOY!

 

I should write about Nori, aka Kim, because that’s my “what if you can choose only one food you can eat till u die” food. No brainer. But next time because my tummy is full of soba noodles now and I am getting sleepy……….Zzzzzzzz……..