Because of so many Kdramas that I have watched South Korean food had become rather family to me and my family.
It also helps that there are plenty of South Korean market nearby as well as restaurants.
Now and again when we crave South Korean food, we would go to Sarang in Golders Green or shop at Seoul Plaza (yes , in Golders Green) also.
Kimchi is as traditional as you can get as far as Korean cookery is concerned. They always have them in ready access in their fridge.
Sometimes, if Kdrama is to be believed, kimchi making is a family affair. They make them in batches and they then get distributed to each of the members of the family, if they leave away from home.
How to make kimchi?
Here is an easy to follow recipe.
1 large whole Napa/Chinese Cabbage (about 3kg)
1 cup red chilli powder 🥵
1 large radish (daikon) about 100g, peeled and julienned
1/2 cup Chinese pear, peeled and julienned (50 g)
1/3 cup salted shrimp
1 cup sugar
30g chopped chives
1tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger
30g mustard leaves
1 cup rock salt
4 cups water
Method of Preparation:
Prepare the cabbage by removing and discarding the tough outer leaves. Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise or if the cabbage is massive cut it in quarters, also lengthwise.
Find a large fairly flat container or basin and arrange the cabbage pieces into it.
Mix the 2/3 cup of rock salt into the 4 cups of water, pour this down into the cabbage pieces. Ensure that the cabbage pieces are soaked into the water. Sprinkle the remainder of the rock salt into the cabbages.
Soak for 10 hours but occasionally turn the pieces so all sides are soaked in the salted water.
After 10 hours, drain and was the cabbage pieces and leave to drain.
Meanwhile, mix the 1/3 cup of water with the chilli powder, creating some sort of a paste.
Using a big bowl, put together the julienned daikon radish and pear.
Mix in the chilli paste into the bowl.
Also add the salted shrimp, garlic, ginger and sugar. Give this a thorough stir.
Add the drained cabbage and ensure that every orifice or side of the cabbage pieces is seasoned with the chilli mixture.
Add the chives, parsley and mustard leaves. Tuck pieces of these into the cabbage, used the leaves to enclose the chilli mixture within.
Using a distilled super large jar, carefully fill it with the cabbage pieces
You can leave it to ferment in room temperature for 8 hours and it is done and you will have that raw tasting kimchi.
But if you wanted to leave it in the fridge, the fermentation is slower but it would last longer.
I love, love, love this recipe. I am pretty sure it is fattening and not good for my high blood pressure but I just love it. Anyway, I don’t really it every single day😜 as much I would like to. 😜 . Only on special occasions.
But there are those days that you can’t wait for a special occasion. It just pops in your brain and can almost taste it that you actually want to eat it. Well, we have got the recipe for you.
By the way, the above photo is called Chairman Mao’s Braised Pork.
Chairman Mao Braised Pork
1½ lbs pork belly
2 cups water
1 tbsp soy sauce (dark)
1 tbsp soy sauce (light)
(or 2 tbsp dark soy sauce)😜
1½ tbsp Shaoxing Rice wine
2 pieces Star anise
1½ tbsp sugar
1 tbsp rock sugar
1½ tablespoons oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled, bruised
¼ inch ginger, peeled and sliced
1 stalk spring onion, left whole
1 stalk spring onion, chopped for decoration
Slice the pork belly into inch pieces.
Add them to a casserole or pan of boiling water. Allow to boil for 5-7 minutes. Drain and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan, better yet in a wok over fairly low heat.
Stir in the sugar and cook until it had turned brown, not burnt.
Add the pork and coat it with the sugar. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, turning them constantly.
Pour in the wine.
Add the light and dark soy sauce (or just use 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce). Let the pork soak in the soy sauce for a minute.
Add the water.
Drop in the star anise.
Sprinkle in the salt. Turn up the heat on high. Cover the wok or casserole and bring to a boil.
Turn down the heat, add the ginger, garlic and the spring onion.
Cover once again and simmer for 45-50 minutes on low heat.
Check and stir once in a while to ensure that the water has not completely evaporated, leaving a burnt offering.
Then sprinkle the rock sugar. The rock sugar will give the pork its shiny, succulent look.
Turn up the heat on high. Allow to cook for another 7-10 minutes. Stir it continuously and cover the pork pieces with the sauces.
Now it is ready. Transfer into a serving bowl and garnish with the chopped spring onion.