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torakris

The Kimchi Topic

198 posts in this topic

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

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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:)

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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...

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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:

4403073703_d0b036d45e.jpg

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?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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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.


BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

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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.

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

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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 (log)

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!

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what recipe are you using?


BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

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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!

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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.seriouseats.com/talk/2009/10/are-my-sauerkraut-and-kimchi-fermenting-yet.html


Edited by SheenaGreena (log)

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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!

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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 (:


BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

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

We shall eat no kimchi before its time.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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