Friday, August 26, 2011

Kimchi this


I saw this recipe to kimchi fried rice on someone's Facebook feed a while ago and couldn't get it out of my head.
Now, obviously, this being Estonia, it wasn't as easy as it would be somewhere else, you know a place where the population is more than 10 people and the ethnic diversity exceeds that of one skin color and two nationalities (yes, I'm exaggerating). You can't exactly go to your around the corner Korean grocery to get some kimchi here. So DIY time it was.
I used this recipe and chinsese cabbage to make kimchi. There is a local version of fermented cabbage in Estonia, but it's quite different - ordinary white cabbage and no spices, also I haven't really ever made it myself, so the three days of occasional bubble checking in the glass jar I used for my kimchi and the fact that it was on my kitchen floor was a source of constant excitement. To be totally honest, I was quite sure it would end up bad. I mean, it doesn't look exactly pretty.
But it's oh so good. Really, totally worth the wait and the mild repulsion the process might induce. Such an explosion of flavor.
I scrambled my eggs for the fried rice, just topping the bowl with a fried egg seemed odd. Otherwise I followed the recipe to a T and to rave reviews.
I'm definitely making it again and I now want to kimchi everything. I think I'm starting with carrots.

4 comments:

lisa is cooking said...

How great! I've been afraid of attempting kimchi. I'm convinced my house it too warm, and it won't turn out right, but one of these days I have to try it. The fried rice sounds delicious.

RG[uw] said...

What about using it warm on pasta, e.g. coarse spaghetti, or risotto ?
In my visits to Korea kimchi, eaten as a side dish, didn't make any strong impression, either very good or bad. It left me with the feeling it needed some improving - maybe it was too cold for me really to enjoy.

RG[uw] (horribly biased - in this case - by his acquired tastes)

~Bee said...

I've never had kimchi--does it taste anything like pickles? Fermented cabbage doesn't sound wonderful to me but I do like many pickled things...

Kat said...

Lisa - warm should be good, I had to keep mine on a heated floor for three days for it to start bubbling and then I transferred it to the fridge.
RG - you can try, I've never tried, but it is warm when it's in the fried rice.
Bee - it doesn't really taste like pickles because there is no vinegar. It's also very spicy, the fermenting just softens the texture and makes it slightly acidic. I love pickled things too and I really liked it. If the fermenting grosses you out, you could try buying kimchi (if you live somewhere, where you can) and then you can try the fried rice.