cucumber kimchi

It was quite windy in Brighton today but equally sunny, too.

When it is a bit summery, I crab for ‘cucumber kimchi’ called ‘oee saboki’ in Korean which is one of the summer kimchi.

wash your cuc
small size cucumbers and chillies not so chilly to be made into kimchi

Nowadays you might buy cucumbers any time of a year in a super market but in fact, cucumbers are summer vegetables.

Also precisely speaking cucumbers are actually fruit.

Is a cucumber a fruit or a vegetable? Have a go with fruit or veg quiz! 

Anyway, come back to today’s topic, CUCUMBER KIMCHI!

I was quite lucky to find these nice small cucumbers in a local shop in Brighton.

Korean cucumbers are smaller and thinner than ordinary cucumbers you might buy in a super market in England.

But today’s cucumbers I bought in the local Turkish shop were the right size for making kimchi.

Here we go with juicy, summery cucumber kimchi and in addition, very crunchy chilli kimchi for you.

marinated in sea salt for a couple of hours
marinated in sea salt for a couple of hours
preparing cucumber with cross cut
preparing cucumber with cross cut
a key ingredient to make cucumber kimchi- chives
a key ingredient to make cucumber kimchi- chives
today's invention, my own version of 'Chilli kimchi filled with chive'
today’s invention, my own version of ‘Chilli kimchi filled with chive
cucumber kimchi filled with chives mixture
cucumber kimchi filled with chives mixture

bean sprouting experiments

my first time ever to try Azuki bean sprouting in an old teapot

growing your own bean sprouts in a teapot
growing your own bean sprouts in a teapot

Have you ever tried to grow your own bean sprouting experiment? If you haven’t, I strongly recommend you to do it.

It’s dead easy!

All you need is an old tea pot and some dried beans such as soya beans, azuki beans, mungbeans etc…

Here, I have a shiny bright yellow teapot for my sprouting ‘farm’. I was lucky to find this in my local charity shop. I just paid £1 for it. A teapot works perfectly for sprouting. When you look after bean sprouts, you need to keep watering them so they do not become thirsty. Another key factor for bean sprouts is ‘no natural light’. Thus the teapot is the perfect facility for sprouting.  All you need to do is

  1. soak the beans in cold water over night
  2. put them in an empty teapot
  3. cover the teapot lid
  4. water them and pour the water out after a couple of minutes each time
  5. make sure water them at least 4 times a day

You can have them whenever you like and how much you like. That is a beauty of growing your own vegetables at home. I call bean sprouts vegetables, too!!

crunchy, crunchy sprouts
crunchy, crunchy sprouts

Tonight, I am having crunchy azuki bean sprouts for my salad. You don’t need to cook them at all. Just take as much as you wish to eat and just rinse them under clean water.

Then, they are ready to eat.

Yummy, crunchy!!

how to make ‘cool’ cabbage kimchi

I am going to show you one of my kimchi recipes. I must say that it is not a very traditional recipe but it works deliciously!

In this recipe, there is an unusual ingredient which is a ‘tomato’. If you add a tomato into kimchi seasoning mixture, it makes kimchi colour rather nice, soft red and even makes kimchi taste ‘cool’. I have to explain this word ‘cool’ to you. In Korea, we have a ‘cool’ taste among many different tastes such as ‘sweet’, ‘spicy hot’, ‘salty’, ‘bitter’, ‘sour’ and ‘COOL’

Can you guess what COOL taste might  be like?

It doesn’t mean that just food temperature is ‘cool’. We often say that “It’s cool.” while having hot broth such as ‘mae-un-tang(Korean spicy fish stew), ‘hong-hap-tang(mussel soup)’, ‘mi-erk-gook'(seaweed soup) or ‘kong-na-mool-gook(bean spout soup)’etc… But when you say, “it’s cool.” in Korean, it can be also for cold temperature food such as ‘dong-chi-mi'(Korean winter mooli water kimchi), ‘cold beer’ etc..

I think that when we say ‘COOL’ for food, it is generally for water/broth based food. I will say that it is not just a kind of tastes you can have in your mouth but also a kind of whole experience of eating/drinking food in our digestion system. I mean from our mouth to stomach!  Ummm, I don’t think that it is easy to explain COOL TASTE literally. You have to TASTE Korean ‘COOL’ food and experience it!

Back to how to make kimchi!!!! 

ingredients for making kimchi
ingredients for making kimchi (from left top as clockwise):  sweet rice flour glue, a package of sweet rice flour, a tub of Korean shrimp pate, a tray of garlic, ginger, tomato, Korean fish sauce, shrimp paste, Korean chilli power,  leek(spring onion),
Chinese cabbage for making kimchi - it is called as Chinese cabbage in English
Chinese cabbage for making kimchi – it is called as Chinese cabbage in English
marinating cabbage in sea salt overnight - an important stage of making good fermented kimchi
marinating cabbage in sea salt overnight – an important stage of making good fermented kimchi
draining any excess water after washing salted cabbage - just wash cabbage a couple of times in clean water
draining any excess water after washing salted cabbage – just wash cabbage a couple of times in clean water
chopping garlic and ginger- I used two bulbs of smallish  garlic and about 3cm length ginger stem for one cabbage
chopping garlic and ginger– I used two bulbs of smallish garlic and about 3cm length ginger stem for one cabbage
mixing all ingredients in a bowl to make a paste consistency
mixing all ingredients except cabbage in a bowl to make a paste consistency
mixing cabbage into kimchi seasoning mixture in a big bowl (Sorry, I couldn't take a picture of mixing moment for making this kimchi. This photo  when I made Korean spring cabbage kimchi.)
mixing cabbage into kimchi seasoning mixture in a big bowl (Sorry, I couldn’t take a picture of mixing moment for making this kimchi. This photo when I made Korean spring cabbage kimchi.)

It’s all done now!

Once you put freshly made kimchi in a container, keep it in room temperature for one or two days depending on weather. (I normally keep it outside the fridge for two days in England. Here it is too cold for kimchi and me….)

it is quite essential for fermenting process of good kimchi.

Enjoy!

cool cabbage kimchi with tomatoes
    cool cabbage kimchi with tomatoes

Korean Spring cabbage kimchi 얼갈이배추김치

얼갈이배추김치 Spring Korean cabbage kimchi
얼갈이배추김치
Spring Korean cabbage kimchi
making kimchi in my favourite kimchi bowl
making kimchi in my favourite kimchi bowl

My friend who lives near New Malden came to visit me yesterday.

She brought me a fresh bunch of Korean spring cabbage from a Korean shop in New Malden.

Korean Spring cabbage is called ‘Erl-ga-ri’ and it is perfect for making a quick kimchi.

When I finish making a tub of kimchi, I feel that I don’t envy anyone in the world!

Korean Spring cabbage called 'Erl-ga-ri' - marinating them in sea salt
Korean Spring cabbage called ‘Erl-ga-ri’ – marinating them in sea salt

Power of plants

It is not only a reddish pink tulip flower you can admire but also the same colour bulb near the ground. So bend your knees to closer towards the ground to admire the beauty of nature.
It is not only a reddish pink tulip flower you can admire when it in full bloom but also the same colour bulb near the ground you can find accidentally and joyfully. (photo taken in April 2015)
Jasmine flowers: planted out into the ground from a small pot
Jasmine flowers: planted out into the ground from a small pot in the winter of 2013
perpetual spinich picked from my back garden: has grown through the winter
perpetual spinich picked from my back garden: has grown through the winter
perpetual spinach and lettuce grown through the winter in my back garden
perpetual spinach and lettuce grown through the winter in my back garden: planted into my vegetable patch in the late Autumn of 2014

Just picked this morning

greens from my back garden this morning
greens from my back garden this morning

Can you guess how many different types of greens in this bamboo tray?

These are picked from my back garden this morning.

I am going to make them into a quick salad like a cheat version of kimchi called ‘겉저리 got-geri’.

There are 8 different types of greens all together.

They are perpetual spinich, beet leaf, dandelion leaf,

spring onion, summer mooli leaf, chives, purple broccolie, fennel.

Blue sky, mild breeze and handful of greens in your hand…

What can you expect more this morning?

8 different types of greens
8 different types of greens

Wild garlic leaf Kimchi 산마늘김치

 Wild garlic leaf Kimchi made in April 2015, Brighton

wild garlic leaves in my kitchen before making into Kimchi
wild garlic leaves in my kitchen before making into Kimchi

This is a very unique and seasonal Kimchi I ever made in Brighton.  This winter was quite cold so wild garlic leaves were out later in a forest, too. There are many exciting recipes using these wonderful, natural and seasonal ingredients. But today, I am just going to show you my own Wild garlic leaves Kimchi, here.

As you might guess, you can smell and taste quite strong garlic from this Kimchi. So only difference when I make this Kimchi is no garlic for making Kimchi mixing paste.  

You also have to be a bit patient to eat this Kimchi. It might take a bit longer to get fermented due to its pungent taste.

Kimchi made in Brighton

'pink' Kimchi made of fresh beetroot and cabbage- proudly made in Brighton
‘pink’ Kimchi made of fresh beetroot and cabbage- proudly made in Brighton

Do you like Kimchi?

Would you like to learn how to make Kimchi?

Why don’t you come along with me then?

I would like to show you various kinds of Kimchi ‘made in Brighton’ and to share my experience of cooking Korean food using fresh and possibly seasonal ingredients.

making Kimchi in a big mixing ball
making Kimchi in a big mixing ball

Spring comes in purple

Forget-me-not… Today’s walk was brilliant. I found wild strawberries in bloom on edges of narrow paths in the forest. I noticed lots of wild raspberries canes, too. However, today’s colour was definitely ‘purple’. Carpet of Forget-me-not and bluebells welcomed me and my friends on May Day! Thank you.                                                   오월의 첫째 날, 숲에 또 갔다. 바람이 꽤 부는 날이었지만 숲에 걸어 들어 가니 따뜻해졌다. 야생산딸기꽃 보며 저 꽃 진 자리에 딸기 열려 익을 때즘 따 먹으러 와야지, 생각하니 괜실히 행복해지는 마음.