October is definitely the best month in Oklahoma. On days like today you can imagine you’re on the California central coast (without any fog). And my fall garden is making me so happy! Green beans for pickin’, baby greens for salads (bok choi, lettuce, arugula), and of course the eggplant, peppers, mustard, and basil are still going strong.
I’ve recently become addicted to Korean TV dramas* (Damn you, Hulu! But I’m “serially” OCD, so this too shall pass), which has inspired me to learn how to make kimchi. Kimchi is basically spicy hot garlicky pickled/fermented vegetables. The American equivalent would be what we southerners call chow-chow. I’m not hung up on doing anything traditional or “authentic,” so for my first attempt I went with what had in the crisper and in the garden. (And this article in Wikipedia validates my very practical approach.) We ate some of it this Sunday with bbq ribs and rice, then I left it out a day to ferment some, and yesterday I put it in the refrigerator. For directions and inspiration I used these recipes:
- Quick Kimchi (Epicurious)
- Kimchi Recipe (David Lebovitz)
- Cucumber Kim Chi (Dr. Ben Kim)
- The Ultimate Kimchi Recipe (I found this sort of hilarious…)
- Kim Chee Fermentation (science lesson and recipe)
So my first attempt went as follows:
Chop vegetable and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt. Let sit for 2 hours in a large bowl and stir occasionally.
- 1/2 white onion
- 2 large carrots
- 1 large squash (White Bush Lebanese?)
- 1 bunch mustard greens
- 2 green chilis (Anaheim)
Rinse the veggies off well and mix with ingredients below, processed into a paste:
- 2 large cloves fresh garlic
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 4 red chilis (fresh, Anaheim, with seeds removed)
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
Put all this in a glass or ceramic bowl or refrigerator dish, and cover. Some recipes tell you to leave it out to ferment, other say to put it in the fridge. I guess it depends on the style you prefer and how much you like stinky stuff smelling up your house. So what to do with your kimchi, other than a condiment or side dish? Well, look here.
*Check out Dramabeans if you want to know what K-drama and K-pop is all about.