How to Make Kimchi
No frying pan this week and no splatter either. Instead, we're sharing our tightly-held recipe for kimchi, the Korean fermented cabbage condiment that serves with equal brilliance as tapas, snack food, or stir fry super fuel.
Once barely known outside the Korean community, kimchi's popularity has soared of late. And no wonder. Spicy, tangy, and brimming with umami, it's a culinary MacGyver in a jar. A pickle to your sandwich. A salsa to your taco. A pre-chopped veggie and spice packet for your instant fried rice. To boot, it's actually good for you, providing a rich source of both fiber and gut-fortifying probiotics.
Kimchi's growing popularity means it can now be found in many regular grocery stores and bodegas. We even know a Costco that carries two different brands, one of which is actually pretty good. Still, there's nothing like the homemade variety, in which you've used the finest ingredients and fermented the concoction to your exact taste.
Yes, fermentation can be intimidating at first, and goodness knows we had a few hiccups zeroing in on the master recipe below. But at this point, it's pretty much foolproof. The key, as we underscore, is in the salting, brining, and rinsing. Get that part right, and you can tweak the flavorings to your heart's content.
Give it a try, and feel free to email us with your kimchi questions and photos.
Fried Eggs with KimchiCommon wisdom dictates that if you want to create complex flavors, you need to put in the work and combine lots of ingredients. Well, common wisdom needs to step off his high-horse and taste these eggs. They include just one other ingredient (apart from oil and garnishings) and have more uncommon flavor than common wisdom would know what to do with.
The secret is the secret ingredient: kimchi, the fermented preparation of cabbage, scallions, radishes, and spicy chili powder that is the pride of any self-respecting Korean cook. The fermentation process builds deep, complex flavors as well as probiotics that are great for human digestion. We get our kimchi from J&H Farm in Brooklyn, a local bodega that sells a variety of home-made kimchi prepared by either grandma, ma, and son – and labeled accordingly. (If you're ever in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, get some of their kimchi).
Once you have the kimchi, this recipe takes about as much time and work as frying up an ordinary egg. But, oh the flavor! If your mom is the adventurous type and likes things a bit spicy, make it for her this Sunday. It'll be a brunch she won't soon forget.