Asparagus kimchi

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In general, eating raw vegetables are supposed to be good for your health. Less cook with heat, better for your health. In that context, have you eaten asparagus raw? Yes, I have now. In my new favourite version, asparagus kimchi!

My usual favourite way of eating asparagus was just par boiling them and eat them without any salad dressing at all. I am not a fan of salad dressing. I like asparagus with a hint of earthy flavour as it is a new shoot(spear) which comes out from soil directly.

A couple of weeks ago, when I went to a wholesale market, there were lots of British asparagus boxes filed up at the corner. It means it was asparagus season in England. I bought a box of asparagus as I was always tempted with seasonal stuff. When I came home with the box of asparagus, I realised that there were quite many spears in the box. Then I thought why not making them into kimchi! Kimchi is always a good way to preserve surplus vegetable. I never made asparagus kimchi before so why not? I’ve made this asparagus kimchi with a little bit of basic kimchi seasoning and kept this kimchi in the other kimchi brine. Even though asparagus was very fresh, they don’t seem to contain lots of water in them. If you use these kinds of vegetables(asparagus, broccoli, Brussel sprout etc…) for kimchi, it would be nice to add extra kimchi brine into it. Anyway, I made it and forgot about it for a week so. When I tasted one spear after one week, I was quite surprised to taste still fresh asparagus’ earthy flavour but definitely kimchi flavour in it, too. This will be another new way of eating asparagus for me!

*If you’d like to find out more information about British asparagus, have a look at this site which I’ve just found out. Useful information here, too. (http://britishasparagus.com)

 

 

Pink Dongchimi Kimchi

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I am delighted to present this kimchi to you. It’s pink mooli kimchi called, ‘Dongchimi’. I am aware that I had a post of ‘Dongchimi’ before but this is slightly different in colour, ‘pink’ water base in kimchi. This kimchi is made with Korean mustard leaves. While it has been fermented over 2 weeks, it has developed its pink water base from mustard leaves naturally. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this beautiful pink before! This was my lunch today to celebrate my first anniversary of my small business ‘Time For Kimchi’: a bowl of wholegrain sweet rice, steamed pork with fermented shrimp and garlic pieces, Korean fermented chilli sauce made by me, Korean fermented soybean sauce made by my mother, just right fermented cabbage kimchi, and my new favourite pink dongchimi.

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.

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!

 

 

One of the ways to eat vegetables in Korean style

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drying mollie green top after blanching them

In Korea, we eat lots of different types of vegetables. They are not only farmed vegetables but also foraged in a wild environment such as mountains or country sides. Thus many different ways of eating vegetables have been evolved in Korea. One of the ways to eat vegetables in Korea is ‘blanching them and drying them’ for keeping over winter time as Korean winter is severely cold. These vegetables are called ‘name’ in general.

In olden days, as you all can imagine that we did not have a high tech to grow vegetables in winter, which means people in Korea had to develop some ideas of supplying vegetables in winter. Kimchi was also one of the good source of the winter vegetable supply to people in Korea traditionally. 

In my first time, I tried to make my own ‘namul’ this summer. I had some Korean mollies from a Korean supermarket which had green top bits together. This part of greens are made into a kind of ‘namul’ called ‘siren’ which has full of vitamin C. Traditionally, it is made over winter time in Korea after ‘Kimjang’ season. But I had made this ‘namul’ in summer when it was sunny. I think it was still good taste!

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You have to soak dried namul before cooking and boil them with lowest heat for at least 40minutes before seasoning. I normally season name with Korean soy sauce, bean paste called ‘deon-jang’ and wild sesame powder.

In this photo of ‘namul dish’, I made 7 different types all together.  They were made with wild fern shoots(go-sa-ri), dried mooli(moo-map-rang-ee), wild Chee namul, dried courgette(hauberk-namul), and dried mooli green(si-re-gi).

Summer has gone

I was quite lazy in the last summer. I didn’t want to do much…

I am just showing you a few photos of my summery memory and now starting to my autumn blog!

Hope to see you soon.

memory of last summer 2015
memory of last summer 2015 : elderflower for making elderflower drink
memory of last summer 2015 : abundant salad leaves from my tiny back garden
memory of last summer 2015 : abundant salad leaves from my tiny back garden
memory of last summer 2015: presents from nature
memory of last summer 2015: presents from nature
memory of last summer 2015: drying mollie leaves under the sun for making 'name' which is a kind of vegetable dish in Korea
memory of last summer 2015: drying moolie leaves under the sun for making ‘namool’ which is a kind of vegetable dish in Korea

buckwheat pillow

Have you ever seen or heard of a buckwheat pillow?

I have my beloved buckwheat pillow for more than 10 years and it is still in good condition!

These days here in Brighton, it has been quite sunny.

“sun bathed” buckwheat hull from my beloved pillow

Thus I have decided to give sun-sterilisation to my buckwheat pillow which is filled with buckwheat hulls.

They are supposed to have cool characteristic in nature so it could help us to have comfortable sleep.

Once I finish making a new pillow case for this, I will show you that!

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