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.

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!

 

 

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.

 

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

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