Kimchi is one of those foods that doesn’t look too appealing, but yet it tastes amazingly addictive. I fell in love with it after I had my first even bite at a traditional Korean restaurant.
And from that point on, I have practically tried every variety of store-bought kimchi, hoping to find one that resembled somewhat to the tasty flavours I got from the one at the restaurant. Unfortunately, none of the store-bought kinds measured up.
Unable to satisfy my taste buds with mediocre store-bought kimchi, I knew I have to start making my own at home. I looked through various recipes, but quite frankly, the traditional method seemed way too time-consuming and messy that I just couldn’t muster up any motivation to try making my own.
And then, I got my hands on Mark Bittman’s new book, The Food Matters Cookbook. Inside there was a quick and simple kimchi recipe. I was ecstatic and immediately made a batch!
The result? I liked it a lot! It tastes fresher than the store-bought stuff and has a much brighter flavour. It was crunchy and the spiciness was just right. I did find it was a tad bit too sweet, so next time I’ll hold back on the sugar.
Bittman’s method was far from the traditional method of making kimchi, but I couldn’t care less. The process was easy, the flavours turned out fabulous and the best part about it was that I could whip up a batch quickly in the morning and have it ready to enjoy for dinner that same night. That speediness of the recipe makes it a winning recipe in my book.
To learn how to make Bittman’s kimchi, visit La Fuji Mama for the recipe (She got to meet Mark Bittman in person and hear him speak about his new book – I’m jealous!).
Two more notes:
- This recipe has very little hands-on time, but it does involve a lot of waiting. You cannot rush the process; you just have to do one step, walk away and let it do its magic, come back to do the second step and then let the product sit to allow the flavours mingle. The whole process takes about 4 hours in total, so if you want to enjoy it for dinner, I suggest starting this recipe first thing in the morning.
- In the book, Bittman suggests making a double batch since it requires just a little more work for getting a lot more kimchi. I think this is good advice and you should certainly follow it because there is so much you can do with kimchi — enjoy it as a side dish, make Spicy Beef and Kimchi Stew (perfect for the chilly weather now), add it to pasta sauce for a nice Korean twist, or even try it as a sandwich topping with some cheese.
Have you tried kimchi before? How do you eat it?