Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rosy Radish Water Kimichi

The first harvest of my garden has arrived, in the form of red radishes! The variety I grew is called Shunkyo Semi-long and I chose it because it matures quickly. Unfortunately (or so I thought) these radishes are too spicy for comfortable snacking or use in salads. I couldn't let them go to waste, but I just didn't know what to do with them! Fortunately, though, I emailed the wonderful Maangchi, who runs a fantastic Korean cooking blog and whom I've corresponded with in the past. She responded right away with a recipe idea: water-style kimchi ('mul kimchi'), which she recently made with similar radishes.

Take that, rabbits!

This style of kimchi has more liquid than what you find in the most common style of kimchi available in the store, though it is made in a similar way: a short and simple fermentation. The recipe that Maangchi sent me doesn't use red pepper flakes, which is a nice change from the usual red kimchis you find. The results are boldly spicy, crisp, and slightly effervescent, with a refined white-and-green palette. I'd hoped that the results would be more of a pink color from the red radishes, but they were just the slightest rosy hue (still beautiful). This recipe is very easy, uses easy-to-find ingredients, and is a great introduction to making kimchi--I urge you to give it a try.

1 qt. radishes in 1/8" slices, made up of red radishes and daikon
1/2 white onion, sliced thin
1 1.5" knob ginger, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 cucumber, sliced thin (I left this out)
5-6 green onions, sliced small (optional)
5 cloves of garlic, minced with a knife
1-2 hot green chilis
4-5 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
~1 qt. boiling water

Select a well-sealing container that you would like to store the kimchi in and wash and dry it well. Place the sliced radishes and cucumbers in the container. Add 2 Tbsp. salt and mix. Boil 1 qt. water and dissove into it 2 Tbsp. salt and 1 Tbsp. sugar. Pour this over the radishes and cucumbers--don't worry about it being hot, as this helps keep the vegetables crisp. Allow to cool to around room temperature.

Slice up the onions, green chilis, and ginger and add them to the kimchi container. Mix well and taste. It should be pretty salty but not overwhelmingly, so adjust the salt accordingly. Add cold water to reach the rim of the container and cover.

My kimchi after 2 days. Note the small bubbles on top from the fermentation.

Let the kimchi sit on the counter to ferment for 1-2 days. This is a summer recipe, so with warm days that's all it should take (allow more if it is cool inside or if you ferment it in the refrigerator). Serve with hot or cold noodles, rice, or anything that suits your fancy.

The results are deliciously powerful and have just the tiniest blush of pink. Even an ordinary pack of ramen seems like a meal with these mixed in at the end.

Thank you Maangchi!


Maangchi said...

You are a food artist! : )

Anonymous said...

I'd like to invite you to have a look on a funny home-made decoration - the radish mouse on cold spread.


Best regards from Germany