I should be out shopping for Easter dinner, but no I have to share this recipe first.
There were two things that screamed through my mind the minute I stepped off airport shuttle bus in Gangnam, Seoul in S. Korea. First was, -Holy shit sooooo cold, so cooooold. The hotel better be in this direction or someone is going to die once I thaw out. It was a cozy -18C plus wind. The other thought was, what is that smell? It’s foodish, rotten fishish, pickled and it is coming from everywhere. I later learned that smell was my first introduction to kimchi.
Kimchi and I weren’t best friends immediately. It took some time for me to get past its spicy mood and ever present pungent smell. Everything smells like kimchi in Seoul. Everything! The steam from the streets, the water, the air and probably other places I won’t mention here. This is due to the fact kimchi is eaten with everything in large quantities. Eventually though I started to warm up to kimchi’s crazy character and now I am an avid kimchi eater.
Making kimchi is a process and requires great attention to detail. None of which I am good at. I am a mercurial type, liking to wing it. Thus, this recipe fits me like a glove and gives me an equal measure of joy when I eat it. It’s called GEOTCHURI KIMCHI-quick kimchi.
This recipe is from the book I mentioned here a few years back called KOREANSK MAT by Byung-Hi and Byung-Soon Lim. I have made a few adjustments due to not having all the fresh ingredients at home. The recipe calls for Chinese cabbage, but I prefer bok choy which is a little pricey. Either way it’s a nice dish. Also you will need Korean chili flakes-kodjokaro. It has a distinct flavor you will not get from other types of chili flakes. You can get the chili at your Asian trading store. It’ s cheap so go for it.
Serves about 4 small portions
1/2 kg bok choy
1/4 cup course sea salt
1 Spring onion, thinly sliced
1 TBS grated fresh ginger
2 Garlic cloves grated
2 TBS kodjokaro, Korean chili flakes
1 TBS sugar
1/2 TBS fish sauce
2 TBS sesame oil
2 TBS 12% pickling vinegar, in a pinch I use white balsamic vinegar. Any white vinegar would work, but the pickling vinegar gives you a better tang.
With bok choy
Chop up the bok choy into bite size pieces and rinse. You can use the end that holds it together it soften ups nicely. Blanche the bok choy for a few seconds until gently wilted. Don’t leave it in too long, you want it to keep it’s crunch. Drain and put into a bowl.
Then add the rest of the ingredients and stir. It will be fine to eat right away or over the next few days.
If you want to use Chinese Cabbage then you need to salt and soak in water for a few hours or over night. Making it less quick.