Saturday, September 08, 2007

Korean Yumminess: Bulgogi and Kim Chee Tutorial

First, the Kim Chee. Kim Chee is a very old, very popular fermented vegetable dish of Korea. Many kinds have fish or shrimp paste in them, making them not suitable for vegetarians, but you can easily make your own! It's a lot cheaper that way, as well.

This is my first attempt and I am happy with the results. This is how I made it. There are many, many different ingredient combinations, as well as methods. The times for preparation are greatly varied as well. I encourage you to try your own! Kim chee tends to get hotter with age, up to a point so go easy on your heat source if you aren't big on spiciness. Here we go!

First, get your hands on some Napa cabbage. I got mine at the local Asian market.

Next, cut the end off

You can use this as a frisbee or something. My dog actually liked how it tasted so he was licking it...

Cut into fourths lengthwise and wash well. Let drain.

Dispatch into 1-2 inch pieces and salt liberally. I used kosher salt.

Cover loosely and let sit anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours

The salt will purge the liquid from the cabbage. It will wilt and release its liquid. Look how much!

Rinse your cabbage and squeeze well. Do not worry about it being too dry. It will make more liquid as it ferments. Your cabbage should still have a nice texture (not all of it should be limp) and it shouldn't be too salty after rinsing.

This is the fun part...

Go nuts! Add what you want. Here is what I added:

Handful shredded carrots
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 sheet Laver seaweed*, cut into tiny pieces with scissors
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
Sriracha, to taste**
about 2 Tbsp tamari/soy sauce
several green onions, chopped
1 inch ginger, chopped very fine
3-4 small/2 large garlic cloves, chopped very fine

*Laver seaweed is a delicious salted seaweed (?) algae (?) that is different from sushi nori. You can eat it as a snack by itself or with rice. It's really lacy-looking. I added this to impart a little "sea" taste. You can use other sea vegetables, such as kelp, or omit.
**Sriracha is a common Asian hot sauce. It has a rooster on the bottle. I added too much! I would go easy on the heat. You can add more later.

After all ingredients are well-mixed, place in a clean wide-mouth jar. I let mine sit on the stove overnight, but it isn't hot in the house. If it is too warm in your house, find a cool spot and let the kim chee sit there for a few hours or overnight.
You can eat the kim chee right away after it's refrigerated, but some people wait longer. It will keep in your refrigerator for months.



This Bulgogi recipe came from the newspaper and by the time I got to it, it was just an ingredient list and no name for credit. Sorry! Traditionally, it is made with beef. Seitan or tofu makes a really good substitution.

Bulgogi (Korean BBQ)

2-4 lbs protein such as seitan or tofu, cooked and sliced thin

3/4 c soy sauce
1 1/4 c water (less for saltier taste)
2 Tbsp. mirin
2 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds, roasted and ground
2-3 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2/3 c sugar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3-4 scallions, sliced on bias
3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped

Mix all ingredients. (Sugar will dissolve.) Can spoon sauce directly onto protein and serve with sticky rice. Can also reduce sauce slightly, or coat protein in sauce and serve with rice. Additional items for a meal: garlic bok choy, kim chee, noodles, sweet and sour soy beans, pickled sweet cucumber, daikon, etc.

NOT the bulgogi recipe, but using the sauce I had left over from when I did make it, and made a soba noodle with cashew dish...

Delicious Indian Takeout. Wish I made it, but I didn't.


PonderingWillow said...

Is the bread from the Indian restaurant naan? I've always liked it and wanted to try to make it at home. When I looked up naan recipes online, some had milk and eggs and honey and every single one (except Isa's) had yogurt in it.

We told the waiter at the Indian restaurant that we didn't eat eggs and dairy...I wonder if he was lying to us about the yogurt...(English was not his first language...)


PamelaCooks said...


It's the Roti. I think almost all naan has dairy in it.

PonderingWillow said...

ugh... I am never eating out again! :(