Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Shang Kimchi (Summer, or Raw, Kimchi)

Kimchi is a pickled side dish popular in Korean cuisine, which can be made out of any number of vegetables, but which is most traditionally made with cabbage. Variations of kimchi differ by season, and this version - made in smaller batches and with less seasonings - would be common in summer months. Unlike other versions, it doesn't need to ferment for days or weeks - although it still needs a few hours to chill in your fridge!

Coarsely chop 7 cups napa cabbage, and combine in a large bowl with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt. Place another bowl on top of the cabbage to weigh the mixture down, and let stand at room temperature for 3 hours, tossing occasionally.

Drain the cabbage, and rinse with cold water, then drain again and squeeze dry.

Combine the cabbage with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds (toast them first, if you like), 1 tablespoon plus 3/4 tsp. Thai chile paste (I accidentally added about 1/4 tsp. too much), 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic, and 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil.

I couldn't find Thai chile paste, also called sambal oelek, when I went to the grocery store. I already have "chile paste with garlic" at home, however, which is so similar that it was an easy substitute. Indeed, a Google search even revealed that some versions of sambal oelek contain garlic - sounds like "chile paste with garlic" to me!

Let chill for at least 4 hours before serving. I let mine chill a bit longer - about 5 hours, but in full disclosure, I only had time to let the first stage (the cabbage mixed with the kosher salt) stand for 2 hours, not 3! A classic case of not having read the whole recipe in advance...

1/4 cup of kimchi is 20 calories, and you'll have about 2 cups total. You can double this recipe in a pinch. Serve alongside rice noodles with veggies - and provide chopsticks!

napa cabbage $7.11

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
  • Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html