Watermelon kimchi

 

One of my favourite things to do in Summer is eating watermelon. On a hot sunny day, eating cool watermelon is so right according to my instinct! 🙂 So in summer, when you eat lots of watermelon, you will leave lots of watermelon skin, too which we normally throw it away either to a compost bin or to  just an ordinary bin. I did the same until I made this watermelon kimchi.

My mum sometimes makes watermelon skin pickle which is my favourite banchan in summer, too. Last week, when I had lots of watermelon skin left, I thought that I could turn them into kimchi. When you peel the green outer layer of the watermelon, you can eat the whitish skin bit. It tastes like cucumber I suppose. I peeled it, chopped it and made it into kimchi by adding some actual watermelon juice into kimchi seasoning. I do not think I can keep this kimchi for long time as other Summer kimchi are not meant to be kept that long anyway. Quick to make it but proper Summery kimchi it is!

Sun dried mooli kimchi (Mu-malengee muchim)

Mooli is a very versatile vegetable indeed. We eat mooli in many different ways and in many different recipes in Korea. You can eat mooli raw or cook. It can be a very good ingredient for making vegetable stock. It is one of main ingredients to make kimchi, too. Also there are so many different types of mooli kimchi. In English, it is called ‘mooli’, or ‘daikon'(Japanese word). The word in English, ‘mooli’ originally comes from ‘Hindi mÅ«lÄ«, from Sanskrit mÅ«la ‘root’. origin of the word ‘mooli’ In Korean, we call it ‘mu’ or ‘muwoo’. I find it quite interesting. There are a few similarities between Hindi and Korean.

  1. Korean word for mooli : mu
  2. English word: mooli
  3. Hindi (Origin of English word for mooli): muli

Anyway, back to kimchi business!

When I saw good strong sunshine, I did not want to waste it. So I decided to dry some vegetables such as mooli. When you dry vegetable in sun, you might add some vitamin D into the vegetable. It also changes texture as water evaporates from it. It becomes quite chewy in a good way.

So I had some sun dried mooli made by British sunshine and made them into quick kimchi. In fact, we don’t call it kimchi in Korea. We call it rather salad than kimchi as it is not involved with fermentation. As soon as you make it, you can eat it straight away.

 

 

 

Asparagus kimchi

IMG_6673

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)

 

 

Purple broccoli kimchi

IMG_6619IMG_6616

One of my hobbies these days is trying to make new kimchi which I’ve never eaten in my entire life. In theory, you can make almost any vegetable into kimchi! In early March this year, I bought a boxful of purple broccoli when they were in season. Even though I shared them with friends and my family ate these purple ‘flowers’ everyday, they did not seem to go down much. So I decided to turn them into kimchi! That is my story of ‘purple broccoli kimchi’. I had some of this kimchi when they were just made but they were still quite hard. So I thought it would be a good idea to leave this kimchi in the fridge for longer.

Today I was tidying up my kimchi boxes in the fridge and just realised that I still have this kimchi. It was till crunch and taste was much matured. Unfortunately, the photo of the kimchi above is the last portion of this kimchi…

Mooli Pickle

In my back garden, I have abundant Korean mustard leaves. I think they like English mild winter climate so they are good at surviving throughout the winter in my garden. In my last post, I showed you how to make ‘pinimagek’ dongchimi using Korean mustard leaves. I made this mooli pickle with Korean mustard leaves again so I was able to get beautiful pink mooli pickle.

This is pickle made of vinegar, sugar and water with quite a conventional
pickling method. However, I think it is exceptionally satisfying when you munch this mature crunch pickle!

How to make Soy sauce in a traditional Korean method

I finally made my soy sauce using a traditional Korean method  yesterday. My mum sent a fermented bean block from Korea and I was eager to make ‘homemade’ soy sauce for the first time. It’s so simple to make as long as you have the right ingredients, such as a well fermented soybean block called ‘Mejoo’ and good salt. I also used some good charcoal, dried chill and dried Korean dates to prevent bad bacteria from growing during the fermentation process of about 40-60 days. It involves two stages of fermenting actions to make good soy sauce in the traditional Korean way. First, you have to make a fermented soy bean block over winter, then you put the fermented block into salt water for around 40-60 days. It depends on weather. Before making the soy sauce, I read many recipes from Korea. However, I can only experiment within British weather conditions in my back garden. I think it will be quite exciting to see the results of my soy sauce in around two months’ time. Please wish me luck and wait for my Korean soy sauce to be born sound and safely in England.

Pink Dongchimi Kimchi

img_6367

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.

Korean radish kimchi

There are so many vegetables which you can make into kimchi all year round. I have grown these Korean radish on my allotment. I didn’t expect them to be grown this well though because it was my first time to grow this vegetable in English soil. It’s called ‘chong-gak-moo’ in Korean and it is a kind of radish family.

This is just for my personal consumption so I made flour paste instead of sweet rice paste which I normally use for my kimchi for shops in Brighton and Hove. I make my kimchi for shops in a vegan friendly way without using Korean fish sauce, gluten free with sweet rice paste instead of flour etc… However, it is nice to make summer kimchi with flour paste. It actually makes sense because wheat is also a summer crop and goes well with other summer vegetables.

I also added some Korean chilli seeds in this kimchi. It is just one of my experiment. If you use chilli seeds in kimchi, they release chilli aroma and some of top note of chilliness into kimchi slowly. I’ll see how this kimchi will be fermented this time…

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!