Onion Kimchi

image.jpgI have been waited for long time for me to make this kimchi: onion kimchi. It sounds funny, doesn’t it? I waited for my action to be done… Anyway I’ve finally made it!

Last week before my daughter went back to school, we went to Monk’s house, Lewes, one of National Trust properties. It used to be Virginia Wolf’s summer house and it was where she was staying before she walked into the river Ouse and never came out.

When I visited Monk’s house, it was a lovely late summer afternoon. Everything looked peaceful there. Especially, some apples and pears were getting ripen on  their trees in the orchard and lots late summer vegetables are ready to be picked at the allotment of the back garden in Monk’s house.

On the way out, we popped into a visitor’s gift shop:A book of short stories by Virginia Wolf for my daughter, a few postcards for my sister and a pot of honey which is not pasteurised. And I even got some onions which were harvested from the allotment of the Monk’s house. When I saw those small onions in a wicker basket, I knew that it was time for me to make ‘onion kimchi’ finally! I happily dropped a few coins in a donation box for my onions.

You need some fresh onions to make ‘onion kimchi’ in my opinion. Onions are one of those vegetables you might keep months and months after being harvested as long as you provide the right condition for it. However, I did not want to make ‘onion kimchi’ with that sort of long kept onion from a supermarket.

Now I have no excuse to postpone making my onion kimchi anymore. It’s time to do an action! Here is my onion kimchi made with onions from Monk’s house allotment. I made them like ‘cucumber kimchi’ with chives inside the onions. I haven’t tried to eat them yet as I can still smell very strong oniony, pungent smell. Some people eat even raw onion but not for me. I need to be patient for my onion kimchi to be well-fermented… But how long can I wait for that?  That’s a question now.

Korean fermented chilli sauce, ‘Gochoojang’

I think that we have three main sauces in Korean culinary history: soy sauce(Ghanjang), soy bean paste sauce(Deonjang) and chilli sauce(Gochoojang). They are all made through fermentation. One of the things on my ‘to-do’ list before I die is that I make these three sauces all by myself. Now at least I have made one of them: Korean fermented chilli sauce, ‘Gochoojang’.

I’ve remembered that my mum made a huge pot of this chilli sauce on one of the sunny days in Spring. It might have been February though because it is supposed to be made around that time of the year in Korea. However, in my memory it was alway done on a sunny day. When my mum was making chilli sauce in a large dining/living room of my house, there was always plenty of sunshine coming through the window. Then I was sitting next to her  to be her  little assistant. My mum said to me, “Bring me more chilli powder.”, “Give me that spoon to me.”,  “Have a taste, what do you think?”, “Is it salty enough?” etc… And sometimes I had a chance to grab a long wooden mixing spoon to mix all the ingredients together.

Before making my first chilli sauce, I called my mum in Korea and asked her a few details about her recipe. She asked me whether I had malted barley which was one of the key ingredients to make ‘Gochoojang’ and she also said to me, “Make sure, you mix all the ingredients well before they get too cold. Or it would get too hard to mix.”

So thanks to my mum, here is my first version of Korean chilli sauce made yesterday and it will be fermented in my patio under sunshine and breeze if weather permitting!

 

 

6 months old kimchi

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This is a bowl of 6 months old kimchi kept in an air tight container in my utility room. I made this lot of kimchi early Feb this year and left the kimchi in the air tight container outside the fridge. I wanted to experiment with how long my kimchi could survive(?) in  room temperature although kimchi should be kept in fridge temperature for best quality.
A few days ago,  I finally  decided that I had to do something about my ‘old’ kimchi. Before opening the container, I thought that I might have to throw the whole container of kimchi away because it was not kept in the fridge for nearly 6 months. However, when I opened the container, kimchi was still ‘alive’!! I could see that the top layer of cabbage leaves were a bit faded in colour but underneath those leaves, they were fine. Of course its taste was as sour as vinegar but it was still edible. When kimchi is at this stage of fermentation, you do not expect to have good levels of probiotics but you can still enjoy eating fermented kimchi for other benefits, such as different nutritional properties acquired through the fermentation action. In Korea, when we have very sour kimchi, we tend to cook it in stew.  ‘Too-fermented kimchi’ can still be another source of vegetable in your kitchen. I am going to cook my ‘sour’ kimchi with pork as a Korean style stew dish.

Kimchi without chilli powder

This is kimchi made without chilli powder. Its main ingredient is radish. When you think of eating radish, you may think of the red bit only. Many people were surprised to see me use whole lot of radish including green leaves when I showed how to make kimchi in my workshop. Yes, you can eat green bits of radish of course! They are a good source of vitamin, too. DSC05855.jpg

I have made radish water kimchi without chilli powder. However, you can see this kimchi in red, can’t you? It is a beautiful natural reddish colour from red radish naturally. Instead, you can see radish is rather pale now. It is made two days ago and it is ready to eat! It’s summer so kimchi is fermented quicker even it is kept in the fridge. When I had some of this kimchi for supper tonight, I couldn’t stop eating this kimchi. Of course you eat kimchi water, too! It’s cool and almost like sparkling water. It is said that good fermented kimchi has about ph 4.5 which is similar to some natural sparkling water. (The pH of Highland Spring sparkling water is between pH4 and 5 due to the addition of carbon dioxide to make it sparkle.ph in natural sparkling water)  Especially, this radish water kimchi is so good for somebody who can’t eat chilli at all.

healthy choice commitment by B&H council

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I am glad to say that Time For Kimchi, my small business, has been issued ‘healthy choice commitment’ by Brighton and Hove City Council in May 2016. My kimchi is free from SUGAR, GLUTEN and SUITABLE FOR VEGAN. As you might know that kimchi has full of probiotic goodness if you eat it within 3-4weeks of made date. However, if you keep kimchi in suitable conditions, you may enjoy it with best goodness for longer!

 

Cherry tomato kimchi

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It’s good be back to my blog. I’ve got to work a bit harder for updating articles here!

Here I have a new kimchi which was made recently. I had a box of cherry tomatoes from a wholesale market and enjoyed eating them as they were. And then suddenly I had an idea of making them into kimchi. Why not?

I made simple kimchi seasoning mixture for my new invention. The result was quite satisfying. It is refreshing!

I was pleased to see a good result of my new kimchi addition. In fact, you can make kimchi with so many different types of vegetables and fruit. That is a beauty of making kimchi, I think!

 

 

How to make homemade tofu

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homemade organic tofu

 

 

These days I make my own homemade tofu using my Korean style juicer which uses a heavy pressing screw instead of a blade. It helps my tofu making process a lot easier.

 

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soaking organic soybeans over night-  at least 8 hours                                 Wash the soybeans before soaking in water.

 

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left: before soaking , right: after soaking You have to wait until the beans become 2-3times bigger than dried ones.

 

Before grinding soaked soybeans into a juicer, drain all the water from a soaking bowl. Then add fresh water to grind the soybeans. You may need double the quantity of water to soybeans.

 

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using a juicer: use right hand side of soybean water for making tofu If you don’t have a machine like this, do not worry! You just need to use blender and squeeze out soybean water.

 

 

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Boil the soybean water in a big sauce pan. I start with a strong flame and reduce the heat to medium. You have to keep stirring the bottom of the pan otherwise it might be stuck at the bottom. You will see plenty of foams created on the top of the soybean water. Do not worry. They are good source of ‘saponin’.

 

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When it reaches the boiling point, just turn the heat off. You need to add some sea salt extract. I use 1 tablespoon for about 4litre of boiling soybean water. This photo is a status of the soybean water after adding the sea salt extract.

 

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It is ready to eat! This is called ‘soon-tofu’ meaning is a pure tofu. It is the stage before you press the tofu in a frame. It is very soft and nutty!

 

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Pour tofu mixture into a frame and press it down with a heavy object. Wait for about 10-15minutes.

 

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Here it is, ready to eat my homemade organic tofu!!

Persimmon kimchi

imageDo you like persimmons? In Korea, persimmons are one of the autumn fruits and there are different stages and ways of eating them.

When it is quite hard, it is lovely to be enjoyed as just a kind of apple. I mean you can just cut them into small pieces and enjoy crispness of the fruit.

Another way to enjoy persimmons is to wait until they become really soft. All you need to do is just to buy a few hard persimmons and leave them on a tray in a kitchen until they become soft like almost jelly. In Korea, of course you don’t need to do this at home. You can buy soft jelly like persimmons in a fruit shop, ready to eat!

There is another way to eat persimmons. It is winter sun dried persimmons. When you hear a word ‘sun dried’, you might normally imagine strong glowing sun shine only. However, Korean winter sun dried persimmons are a bit different. They are dried over late autumn till winter under the traditional roof with wintery sunshine and cold wind. Good dried persimmons should have fine, white sugary dust on surfaces and taste a bit like dried apricots. But I must say that it is nothing like anything else! drying persimmons in a traditional way

A few days ago, I went a fruit&veg wholesaler to buy some ingredients for kimchi and found a box of persimmons. I just loved the colour of them and  bought a box for home. But when I came home, I realised that I bought too many of them at once. Yes, I know I sometimes I buy things with impulse. -.-

Then I just remembered that I saw somebody making kimchi with persimmons in a Korean TV programme. That was how my persimmon kimchi was created in my kitchen. It is a variation of a traditional mollie kimchi called ‘KAK-TU-GI’. You need to cut moolies and persimmons into cube shapes to make this kimchi.

Yum… when I tried this kimchi, I must say that I was very picky to choose a persimmon cube. They are sweet but very good company for moolie, too. One persimmon cube, one more persimmon cube and one moolie cube were just perfect combination.

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Winter water kimchi, DONG-CHEE-MEE동치미

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This is one of the winter kimchi made with Korean mollie. a photo of Korean mollie

Korean moolies looks rounder and shorter than ones you might see in an Asian shop in the UK. We have a saying about mollies and here it is.

If you eat a winter moolie and don’t burp, it would be as good as eating ginseng.

It means winters moolies has many beneficial properties for our body. One of the famous benefits is that it is good for helping digestion. When you have a bloated stomach, try moolie. You will notice it is really helping.

This kimchi called ‘dong-chee-mee’ is mainly made of moolies. It is kimchi but does not contain chilli powder which is a kind of symbol for Korean kimchi. In fact, we have numbers of kimchi without hot, red chilli powder in Korea.

This kimchi is a good companion when you eat steamed sweet potato in one of the long, dark winter night.

 

homemade tofu and vegan kimchi

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One of the ways to enjoy kimchi is to have kimchi with freshly made warm tofu. These two combination works really well. It is often popular menu in a Korean pub selling Korean traditional alcohol called ‘make-gerl-lee'(fermented rice based alcohol).

These days I experiment to make my own version of organic tofu all by myself. And this tofu is made today in my kitchen. It is a little bit more corse than the one you might see in a shop but it is certainly sure to have more of original soy bean’s nutty flavour and taste.

I have been also experimenting vegan kimchi as well. Traditionally kimchi is well made with some fish sauces (Korean anchovy sauce, shrimp sauce etc…) which make kimchi is not suitable for vegan.  However, there are some recipes which do not use any of fish sauces in Korean traditional kimchi. So I have developed my recipe for VEGAN FRIENDLY KIMCHI using  Korean soy sauce to season instead of fish sauce.

I must say that my vegan kimchi was proved and enjoyed by one of my vegan friend as well as other non-vegan friends.