Traditional Kimchi

As an Army brat, I grew up with an extremely diverse group of friends and a lot of exposure to international cuisine.  My love of Korean food stems from my cousin and her husband who is biracial and part Korean. So one day they decided to take us out to dinner to a Korean grocery store that was also a restaurant (insert side glare). Needless to say, I was SCARED! That was the day I fell in LOVE! From bim bim bap(vegetables over rice with a sunny side up eggs)  to bulgogi (marinaded beef or pork), I love it all. I usually gather my goodies from our local Asian market. I’m there so much, I should know how to speak the language, but alas I’m stuck with pointing and googling titles 🙂

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My natural progression was to try my hand at making Kimchi and it was much easier than I thought! Kimchi is fermented vegetables with a variety of seasons. I will say there are many recipes for kimchi, but I prefer to make mine with more of a sauce versus a slurry. The slurry mixture makes the mixture a bit more thick, I prefer the sauce because I like to use my kimchi several different ways. It can be used as a side dish, stirred into fried rice, or added to make a kimchi pancake(kimchijeon)! I know trying new foods is a bit scary, but step out of the box with me and give it a try.

Let’s get started!

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Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 8-10 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 grated daikon radish*
  • 1 C carrots, julienned
  • 1 C water
  • ¼ C salted shrimp*
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups Korean Red Pepper Powder
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 grated asian pear*
  • ¼ C. salt
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3-4 canning jars

*These items can be found in your local Asian market; however, I have found the asian pear and daikon radish in local markets.

Directions:

  1. Cut the napa cabbage and quarter it length wise keeping the base in tact.
  2. Make sure the leaves are still connected at the base, gently separate the leaves and sprinkle salt between each section placing more salt close to the base than the tip of the leaf.
  3. Place the quartered napa cabbage in a container that’s deep enough to cover the cabbage with water.
  4. Place a heavy object on top of the cabbage and let the cabbage sit for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight.
  5. Next combine all of the sauce ingredients in very large bowl.
  6. Once the cabbage is brined, rinse, drain, and chop the cabbage.
  7. Toss the cabbage with the sauce mixture until coated.
  8. Place the mixture into the  fermenting vessels and cover with lid.
  9. Make sure not to over pack the jars, leaving at least 1″ of space at the top. If you pack your jar too full you will have a very stinky kitchen.
  10. Let the jars sit on the counter top for at least a day and then place into the refrigerator.
  11. Use the kimchi within 2 weeks. After that you will want to discard it because it will get too strong for use.
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Spicy Sesame Ginger Wings

Over the past couple of years between Football, Basketball, and Golf seasons, I have eaten my weight 3 times over in wings! A little sweet, a little spice and the traditional wings are transformed into a treat that’s not only crispy, but magically transformed.

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Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven broiler and spray the broiler pan rack with non-stick spray.
  2. Place the chicken wings in a bowl and combine with the canola oil and salt and toss to coat.
  3. Arrange the coated wings on the broiler pan rack and broil 12 inches from the heating element for 45 minutes, turning until golden brown and crispy.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, Asian chile sauce, Sriracha, ginger, and 1 scallion in a blender until smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture to a saucepan and bring to a boil for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  6. Add the chicken wings to the sauce and toss to glaze for 5 minutes.
  7. Place finished wings on a platter and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

adapted from Food & Wine