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The Kimchi Topic


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#151 Joon

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 09:28 AM

That recipe does look excellent...but I would definitely substitute oyster for squid. IMO a little oyster is a must for amazing kimchi.

#152 milgwimper

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 07:05 AM

I think it depends on your taste which seafood, or no seafood you really like. My mom loves oysters in hers but she really likes corvina, and other fishes better. I cannot decide, and enjoy them all! :P :)

#153 Human Bean

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 05:59 PM

My company cafeteria served 'house-made kimchi' as part of a special Chinese New Year meal :shock: This cafeteria doesn't do foreign food at all well. The 'kimchi' appeared to have been made by someone who had heard of kimchi, but never seen or tasted it before. Soggy, non-fermented cabbage chunks, with a subliminal bit of chile (maybe), tasting of salt water with a bit of ginger. That's it. I wasn't expecting much, but this didn't even live up to my already low expectations.

All of which reminds me that I haven't made any kimchi myself in far too long. Need to get a fresh batch of chili powder and get at it...

#154 Chris Amirault

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 04:48 AM

A few of us have been fiddling with the kimchi recipes in David Chang's Momofuku cookbook. I made the oi kimchi -- a quick pickle -- and loved it, and so I decided to take the plunge and make a batch of paechu kimchi:

Posted Image

A few questions for you experts:

1. I'm assuming that I don't need to worry too much about the top layer of the pickles, yes? I can push them down using a small pyrex bowl if need be. Yes? No?

2. Can someone clarify the temperature at which I should be fermenting them? I've seen everything from "warm part of your refrigerator" (~45F or 7C) to "room temperature" (68F or 20C). I have a dedicated curing chamber that can be adjusted pretty much anywhere in that range; to be on the safe side, I started off at 45F. What say ye?

3. Is 1" chunks vs entire napa halves or quarters simply a matter of preference or style?

4. How do you avoid eating the entire batch before stuffing it in a jar?
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#155 SheenaGreena

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 10:25 PM

the warmer the surrounding air, the quicker it is going to ferment. Basically if you want a kimchi to ferment really quickly you leave it out at room temp for a few days. In my house we make kimchi and leave it in the cold garage to ferment or we throw it immediately into the kimchi fridge. However, if we are in the mood for a kimchi chigae or something that uses stinky kimchi we will leave it out for a few days to stinkify.

The top layer should be okay. Just push it down into the juice or keep mixing it around or the top layer will dry out.
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#156 nakji

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 09:22 PM

2. Can someone clarify the temperature at which I should be fermenting them? I've seen everything from "warm part of your refrigerator" (~45F or 7C) to "room temperature" (68F or 20C). I have a dedicated curing chamber that can be adjusted pretty much anywhere in that range; to be on the safe side, I started off at 45F. What say ye?

When I lived in Japan and made kimchi, I just left the bottle on the floor where a cold draft could get to it, mainly because my fridge was too small to take it. This worked in the winter, when my flat was quite cold, but I never tried it in the summer. I never took the temperature. Old school in Korea dictates burying your kimchi in a pot in the ground; or at the very least sticking it outside in a kimchi pot. New school leaves their kimchi in special, odor-trapping "kimchi fridges". So a curing fridge would probably be fine.


3. Is 1" chunks vs entire napa halves or quarters simply a matter of preference or style?


I've only ever seen kimchi made in whole heads, then cut by the lady of the house in the kitchen or at the table into chopstickable pieces. When people make whole heads, the kimchi spice is hand-layered between the leaves, so the whole head gets packed with spicy goodness. Of course, this is when you're making kimchi to last for the next year, so keeping it whole is probably just a convenience. Cutting up fifty heads would be a pain, to say the least.

4. How do you avoid eating the entire batch before stuffing it in a jar?


We shall eat no kimchi before its time.

#157 Argol

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 10:12 PM

My Uncle served in the Korean Action and has told me the same story. He cannot abide kimchi, something I do not understand.

#158 nonblonde007

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 11:56 AM

Quick question.............I've had mine on the counter top for a week and a half, I'm getting no fermentation (bubbles, smell, etc.) tastes kinda raw still. What am I doing wrong? Basic recipe, in a sealed jar, room temp.

Edited by nonblonde007, 14 March 2010 - 11:57 AM.

Brenda



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#159 SheenaGreena

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 02:30 PM

what recipe are you using?
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#160 nonblonde007

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 06:52 PM

I can not find the exact recipe I followed, but it included a generous amount of fish sauce, ginger, garlic, green onions, cabbage, a whole lot of chilli paste, after 24 hours of salting the cabbage in loads of salt and a good rinse. I searched, and just can't find it, but it was from a Korean recipe database.
Brenda



I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

#161 SheenaGreena

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 11:24 PM

I dont know if this would help, but maybe you need to loosen the lid of the container to let some good bacteria in? I just read off of this website's comments that some even make kimchi with a cheesecloth to cover it up. Maybe you could try that?


I loosen the kimchi lid from time to time, because if I don't it will explode and/or leak so it should be okay.


http://www.seriousea...enting-yet.html

Edited by SheenaGreena, 15 March 2010 - 11:24 PM.

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#162 nonblonde007

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 07:35 AM

Thank you, I checked the link and that does seem to be my problem. Off goes the lid on on goes cheesecloth!
Brenda



I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

#163 SheenaGreena

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 10:32 PM

Please let me know if this works or not!

Now that I think about it, all the daengjang and gochujang in my parent's backyard is covered in cheesecloth and sometimes exposed to air. You just scrape off the top layer and dig in down to the good layer (:
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#164 Joon

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 02:32 PM

[quote]
4. How do you avoid eating the entire batch before stuffing it in a jar? [/quote]

We shall eat no kimchi before its time.
[/quote]

I LOVE fresh Kimchi...the whole point of making kimchi at home for me is to have it while it's fresh. :)

#165 A Patric

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 09:56 AM

I can not find the exact recipe I followed, but it included a generous amount of fish sauce, ginger, garlic, green onions, cabbage, a whole lot of chilli paste, after 24 hours of salting the cabbage in loads of salt and a good rinse. I searched, and just can't find it, but it was from a Korean recipe database.


There should be plenty of bacteria on the vegetables, and lactic acid producing bacteria absolutely love cabbage, so they should be pretty vigorous pretty quickly. All of that being the case, I suspect that you might have used a chili paste or fish sauce with preservatives in addition to salt, or far too much salt. Preservatives would be my first guess. If you see any odd sounding chemical names in the ingredients list of your paste or sauce, then I think that would be the culprit. If you don't find any preservatives, then I am perplexed.

#166 nonblonde007

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 08:48 AM

Yes, you guessed it, there are preservatives in both the chili paste and the fish sauce. Nearly two weeks later and still no fermentation. Is this going to be safe to eat or should I toss it? Been on the counter for a very long time and no apparent spoilage, just taste kinda new still.
Brenda



I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

#167 A Patric

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 03:28 AM

Sorry to hear that. Well, I don't know. That is a long time with no refrigeration or fermentation. If it were me, I would probably throw it away and start over.

On the bright side, I'm sure that this will never happen to you again now that you know the culprit.

Best of luck,

Alan

#168 poppalarge

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 01:29 AM

Question: I've never had Kimchi before so I bought some stuff in a Jar. Mat Kimchi. How should I prepare it? What should I have with it?

ta

#169 Chris Amirault

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 04:01 AM

Rice, eggs, meat... any way you'd have a pickle will do, including standing by the fridge door out of the jar.
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#170 nakji

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 08:22 PM

Fry about a quarter cup of it with some bacon and sesame oil, then use that to fry another cup or so of cold leftover white rice - kimchi fried rice. Top with a fried egg, and it's a meal for one.

#171 Tri2Cook

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 08:52 PM

How do you decide what makes a good candidate for the kimchi process (outside of what's traditionally done)? What I'm wondering about specifically... I found a large patch of wild horseradish growing locally and I'm planning out some uses for the young leaves this year (beyond just using them as greens, which I'll definitely be doing). The idea of using some of them for kimchi occured to me but, not being an expert on making kimchi, I'm not sure how well this would work. Any thoughts? Would the older, tougher leaves be better candidates? Does it sound like a bad idea all around?
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#172 heidih

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 09:25 PM

How do you decide what makes a good candidate for the kimchi process (outside of what's traditionally done)? What I'm wondering about specifically... I found a large patch of wild horseradish growing locally and I'm planning out some uses for the young leaves this year (beyond just using them as greens, which I'll definitely be doing). The idea of using some of them for kimchi occured to me but, not being an expert on making kimchi, I'm not sure how well this would work. Any thoughts? Would the older, tougher leaves be better candidates? Does it sound like a bad idea all around?


I recently purchased a fresh young radish kimchi that was mostly the greens and a bit of the emerging white radish. It was in the water (mul) style of kimchi. I enjoyed it, but it does not have a long shelf life.

#173 A Patric

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 03:26 AM

Just a note for those following the Momofuku recipe (I just got the book and made a batch a week ago), Chang calls for fish sauce and light soy sauce. The selection of these two products is somewhat important:

1) Fish sauce that I've seen at major grocery stores often has preservatives in it aside from salt. This isn't good for naturally fermented pickles, kimchi included. Be sure to check the ingredients list. When in doubt, try an Asian market, which should have several Thai brands that have no preservatives: Squid, Tra Chang, Three Crabs, etc.

2) Light soy sauce. The term "light" means different things for different soy sauce traditions. Light soy sauce from the Chinese tradition is not the same as the light soy sauce from the Japanese tradition, which is what Chang is requesting (usukuchi). Look for the Kikkoman Usukuchi as it is readily available, and has no added preservatives. Many of the light Chinese soy sauces that I've seen do have preservatives, including the one in my pantry. Another reason to use the usukuchi is that it is saltier than most soy sauce, and with a lighter and sweeter soy taste, so it will impact the balance of flavor in the final product. If you are trying to recreate Chang's recipe exactly, then this will be important.

Hope that helps.

Best,

Alan

#174 ojisan

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 09:59 AM

A few of us have been fiddling with the kimchi recipes in David Chang's Momofuku cookbook. I made the oi kimchi -- a quick pickle -- and loved it, and so I decided to take the plunge and make a batch of paechu kimchi

Chris - Can you post an update on the Momofuku paechu, and your opinion? Momofuku is a bit vague regarding proportions and ingredients:
- Are you using kochukaru that is 100% pepper, or is pepper+salt? I noted that some brands include salt.
- What was the weight of the nappa?
- How much is "20 slices of ginger", by weight?

Monterey Bay area


#175 Chris Amirault

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 10:13 AM

I didn't take careful measurements, I'm afraid, so I can't tell you weight of the napa. Ginger, I think, was about a 3"x1" piece of ginger. And the kochukaru is just pepper, no salt.
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#176 billyhill

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 04:32 PM

I tried a quick search and it was not fruitful.

As the title implies, I wish to make kim chi. I have located several recipes, Korean chili powder, and a host of other components, but I still have a few questions.

I am getting conflicting information if I should use a tightly sealed vessel to ferment the kim chi or if I should use one covered only with a cloth. "Quick and Easy Korean Cooking" says use a tightly sealed jar and I have a large number of 1/2 gallon mason jars available if needed, or could I use 6qt plastic containers with a snap on lid, or do I need something else?

Anything to leave out of the Kim Chi, such as:
1) Bok Choy(I am awash in the stuff from the garden right now)
2) Summer Squash (as above)
3) Kohlrabi with or without greens (as above)
4) Broccoli (Soon to be as above)
5) Western cabbage (soon to be as above)
6) Carrots
7) Celery

Any other observations, experiences, or suggestions?

Thank You,
BH

#177 ZenKimchi

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 04:51 PM

We use those Ziploc containers. They work well. The containers with the folding snap locks work the best to prevent your fridge from reeking of kimchi.

Most all the ingredients you listed would make good kimchis on their own. Celery may be a bit watery and could work as a water kimchi. There's a good book that's been translated into English called Good Morning, Kimchi! by Sook-ja Yoon, which has some more international kimchi recipes, like broccoli. I really want to experiment with them one day.

In the meantime, may I humbly suggest my recipe--simply because I know firsthand that it works.
ZenKimchi's Signature Kimchi

Good luck!
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#178 billyhill

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 05:00 PM

Thank you, I stopped reading your linked site only to return here and give thanks. I will check at Amazon for that book.

Any other help or advice would be appreciated.

Temperature advice would be helpful also, I have a second fridge that can be dedicated to this effort.

Edited by billyhill, 02 June 2010 - 05:01 PM.


#179 billyhill

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 08:10 PM

ZenKimchi,
In your recipe, did you use a 15% brine solution in your final product? I saw how you had salted it first, then gone with the brine. Did you retain this brine for the fermenting process or replace the liquid? I gather that you drained it and rinsed, but other sources are retaining the brine fluid for later use.

When you say in you blog " two parts gochugaru to 1 part fish sauce, I assume you are talking by volume.

Sorry to be obsessing with details, I appreciate your help.

BH

#180 ojisan

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 08:40 AM

Vegetarian nappa kimchi:

How necessary are the brined shrimp or fish sauce? I assume their function (as well as sugar) is to promote fermentation. Is there a traditional Korean alternative, or are they even needed?

Monterey Bay area