Category: Vegetable

Cabbage Kimchi Recipe

Kimchi Recipe
Korean Recipe

Cabbage Kimchi Recipe

(Baechu Kimchi)

Kimchi, Photo by JMorton

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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.

Enjoy!  You can use this in many recipes later such as Kimchi rice and kimchi stew.

 

New Potatoes with Lardons in Mustard Sauce

Baby Potatoes with Mustard Sauce, Photo by Arnold Gamboa

New Potatoes with Lardons in Mustard Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1kg new (baby) potatoes, clean, no need to peel
  • 200 g bacon lardons
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or 1 chicken bouillon dissolved in 1/4 cup of boiling or hot water
  • 1 half cup double cream
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp cooking oil

Method of preparation:

  1. Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil.  Add the baby potatoes and simmer until just tender.  (The potatoes can also be steamed.) Drain and put in a large serving tray or plate.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat the oil and then saute the bacon lardons, until golden and crispy.  Remove the cooked lardons and transfer into a bowl, set aside.
  3. Stir in the chicken bouillon into the frying pan.  Scrape the brown bits from the pan to mix in with the chicken broth for added flavour.  Leave to simmer for three minutes.
  4. Pour in the double cream and then add the Dijon mustard.  Give it a good stir.
  5. Season with salt and black pepper.
  6. Spread the lardons all over the baby potatoes.
  7. Finally drizzle generously with the mustard sauce.
  8. Enjoy with grilled or roasted meat.

Pako (Fern) Salad

Pako Salad, Photo by Ruben Ortega

Pako (Fern) Salad

Back when we were little children in Marag, Philippines, pako became a staple diet.  It was in our dinner table at least once a week.  We ate a lot of it so much that we kids 🙂 should have grown into goats 🙂 or hated it after a while. But I have always a vibrant and positive memory of pako.

Gathering pako is an adventure for us youngster.  We had to roam a dense growth of greens at the mouth of a forest and try to pick the young furling sprouts of pako.  Thank goodness they grow profusely together and therefore picking them one by one was not much of a chore.

Pako can be prepared in plenty of ways, it can be blanched and made into a salad, it can be left fresh as it is as a salad as well or cook and added into various kind of inabraw, an Ilocano way of cooking.

Below is another pako salad recipe.

Ingredients

 

  • 1 large bunch pako (fern)
  • 2 salted eggs or hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp patis (fish sauce)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • sprinkling of salt to taste

 Method of Preparation:

 

  1. prepare the pako by removing any tough stalk.
  2. Bring a large pot of boiling water. Blanch the pako by quickly dipping them into the hot water.  Leave for a minute and drain.
  3. Arranged the pako on a serving platter.
  4. Put the tomatoes and onion on top then garnish with the slices of salted eggs.
  5. Make a typical Filipino dressing by mixing the vinegar, fish sauce, black pepper, sugar and a very little salt.  Stir it in thoroughly for the granules to dissolve.
  6.  Pour the dressing all over the pako.
  7. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

Roast Fennel Recipe

Fennel Recipe
Vegetable Recipe
Side Dish

Fennel by PH Morton

 

Sliced fennel, photo by PH Morton

Roast Fennel Recipe

This fennel recipe is really delicious.  It brings out the natural sweetness of this aromatic bulb.

It is an ideal side dish to roast meat and fish.

Ingredients

 

  • 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced.
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

 

 Method of Preparation:

 

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 180ºC.
  2. Arrange the sliced fennel into a baking sheet, which is lined with aluminum foil.
  3. Generously drizzle the olive oil into the slices.
  4. Follow it up with the balsamic vinegar, which will bring out the fennel’s natural sweetness.
  5. Put in the middle shelf of the oven and roast for 40 minutes or until the edges start to caramelise.
  6. Serve immediately as a side dish.

 

Crispy Seaweed Recipe

 

Crispy Seaweed

Peter and I love crispy seaweeds.  We always order it as one of our starters when we dine out in Chinese restaurants.

There is something about its crispy texture that is rather pleasing to the tastebuds.

Of course we are well aware that this seaweed is not really seaweed as we know it.  It did not come from the sea. 🙂  In fact it is made from finely shredded spring green cabbage.

Peter asked me why is it then called a seaweed?!!! To hazard guest, I think because it does look like a seaweed when it is being prepared and cooked. Its corrugated crispy texture is like seaweed.

Anyway, as I have said, it is quite delicious and here a recipe for it.

Crispy Seaweed Recipe

 

Ingredients

  • 250 g Spring green cabbage (Kale is a good substitute)
  • 1½ tsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp shrimp powder (optional)
  • Oil for deep frying

Method of Preparation:

  • Prepare the spring green by washing it completely and ridding it of grits and little insects, you never know!  🙂 .  Trim off the tough stalks that run through each leaf.  Drain the leaves thoroughly with kitchen paper towels.
  • Using a good chopping board and an equally good and sharp knife, sliced the leaves into thin ribbons.
  • Spread them in a flat surface for 10-15 minutes to allow them to completely dry.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or a deep-fat fryer.
  • To cook the finely shredded cabbage evenly, they must be done in batches.  Carefully lower a bit of the spring green shreds into the hot oil.  When they have been cook they would crinkle and float.  Remove them with a slotted ladle and put them over kitchen paper towels to soak up excess oil.  Do the same thing with the rest of the batch.
  • For the topping, mix the the sugar and salt with the shrimp powder and sprinkle over the cabbage.
  • Serve immediately as a starter.

Delicious Home Made Pickled Beetroot

Delicious Home Made Pickled Beetroot

Our good friend and close neighbour Mick regularly supplies us with fresh vegetables grown on his allotment located across the road from us.

Mick has had his allotment for over fifty years, planting vegetables and even fruit trees.

One of my favourite vegetables he grows for harvesting each autumn time is beetroot. Mick grows a popular type called ‘Boltardty AGM’. Boltardy seeds can be sown at various times during the growing year and in most types of soil. It does not have excessive ‘bolting, a gardening term, which means premature sprouting of stalks flowering stem(s). Excessive bolting can divert resources & nutriment from the beetroot and reduce its quality.

All Photos By PH Morton

After harvesting, Mick then produces jars of delicious slightly sweet pickled beetroot for his family and us. We save a jar for Christmas time. Beetroot is perfect to accompany Christmas meals.  This year, Mick invited me to harvest some of his beetroot. He then showed us how to make his ‘signature’ pickled beetroot. I took various photos from harvesting to our jars filled with delicious picked beetroot. Under Mick’s tutelage and help, Jean & I enjoyed producing our own jars of this delicious vegetable. Making pickled beetroot is quite simple & straightforward. 🙂

If using homegrown beetroots from garden or allotment etc., a good time to harvest is from 50 to 70 days after planting. Avoid letting the beetroot get too big. A hand or tennis ball size is ideal. Do not let the stalks/stems bolt or grow above 6 inches (15cms). Dig around the beetroot and pick up avoiding breaking the stalk/greens from the beetroot.

Thoroughly clean & wash the dirt off and trim the stalks/stems short. Again do not pull out the stems, as water can get into the beetroot and damage it when boiling prior to pickling.

Harvested fresh beetroot can be stored in a refrigerator for about seven days.

Depending how many beetroots you are pickling, you will require:-

  1. Pickling /preserve jars with airtight lids. The normal size is around 500ml, or as large as you want. Most hardware stores will supply.
  2. Pickling vinegar, which comes in 1.4 litre size. Most larger supermarkets etc supply.
  3. Brown or white sugar granules to sweeten the vinegar taste to your choice.

Place the beetroots in a suitably sized saucepan(s) and cover with water.

Boil for two hours.

Carefully strain off the water and either allow air cooling or running cold water over the beetroots then dry.

Completely remove remaining stalks/roots etc.

The boiled soft skin of the beetroot does not need to be peeled with a knife as can be easily removed by hand.

Cut or slice the beetroot to whatever size you prefer.

Pour in small amount sugar, then add a small measure of the pickling vinegar, enough to cover the first layer of the slices of beetroot into the bottom of the jar.  Sprinkle with a teaspoon of sugar (to taste) then add another layer, pour pickling vinegar, then another layer, sugar, pickling vinegar until it reaches the top of the jar.

Close the jar, gently shake it then turn it upside down and leave for about 30 minutes. This will allow the vinegar and sugar to seep through the beetroot. Top up with the pickling vinegar if needed to completely cover the sliced beetroot in the jar.

If you want you can label the jar with day & month of pickling.

Home made pickled beetroot can be kept for 6 weeks to 3 months, refrigerated.
In practice, it can be longer.

But if you store them beyond 3 months and you’re worried, check for signs of spoilage (rising bubbles, cloudy liquid, unnatural colour) and don’t eat or taste.