Thursday, May 24, 2012

Guest Blog: Kimchi!

Ron can't get enough Kimchi and he's kind of in love with David Chang.  He eats so much of this stuff that I swear it seeps from his pores.

See?  He REALLY loves it!  Needless to say, I recommend eating slightly less than he does.  On that note, here's my very first guest blog.  Take it away Ron!

Hey y’all!  I’m Ron, I’m Sara’s hungrier, heftier half and I’m writing from our new “hood”, Crown Heights, Brooklyn.  We love and miss Philly (Sara note: I'm back in Philly now and Ron's still in NY so what he's really saying is HE loves and misses Philly and, of course, his lovely wife), but truth be told, we also love New York.  Don’t get me wrong you won’t catch me buying a sub or hero here…  It’s hoagies all the way for me, but there is amazing food everywhere you turn and because New York welcomes the wretched refuse of everyone’s teeming shores, each time you eat out is a chance to taste something you’ve never had before.

One of my favorites places to eat, New York or anywhere for that matter, is Momofuku Noodle Bar.  Noodle Bar looks and feels like another cool East Village bar to hang out in, with a soundtrack that could be my itunes playlist, but it’s an elegant restaurant serving a weird hybrid of Korean and American food.  Their Ramen is waaaaay more than those little packets of brittle noodles and instant broth!  It’s fine dining. (Sara note: We can also get killer ramen close to our Crown Heights 'hood at Chuko. Sooooo good)  The pork buns are little clouds of pork belly and awesome.  But the first time I went there was this other thing that burned a hole in my taste buds and memory… A sweet and sour cabbagey mess on the side of my plate…  It’s called Kimchi!  Korean folk swear by it and serve it with nearly every meal. 

Cut to three years later and I can’t get enough of the stuff.  It’s hot, salty, pungent and actually really good for you. They say it aids digestion…  I dunno, but it tastes awesome!  For Christmas, my brother and sister in law bought me David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook and I dove right into making my own Kimchi. 

It’s a two-week fermentation process, but totally worth it. There are a ton of ingredients like little tiny jarred salted shrimp:

Kochukaru i.e. Korean chilli powder - lots of it!

And lots of other stuff: 

But you only need to buy the non vegetable ingredients one time and once you do, you can whip up a batch  that will last for a month or so.  (Sara note: you can whip it up in no time but then it has to work its magic and get a little funky in the fridge for a few days before you can eat it.)

I tweak the recipe every batch.  My newest one has about 2/3 the sugar and 1/4 less ginger.  And it’s still fantastic!

I eat it as a side.  I put it in soup.  Put it in the food processor and use it as a marinade. Eat it in omelettes…  On top of pork chops.  With chicken thighs…  mackerel…  steaks...   Anywhere you would use a salsa, try Kimchi next time!

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