Tag Archive for kimchi

Kimchi Fried Rice from Well Fed, Flat Broke

I’m a localvore. I know, it sounds like some dumb, new-age, hipster thing, but really it just means that I like to support local business when I can. Usually, that means shopping at small, locally-owned stores and restaurants over larger, US-owned ones, or buying directly from producers at Farmer’s Markets.

So, there are few things that make me happier than when one of my fellow local food bloggers makes it big. Elizabeth Nyland over at Guilty Kitchen now has two cookbooks, and just this month, Emily Wight of Well Fed, Flat Broke just published hers: Well Fed, Flat Broke: Recipes for Modest Budgets & Messy Kitchens.

Now, Emily and I have some common philosophies. Vancouver is a notoriously expensive city to live in. It is normal for us to spend 50% of our incomes (and sometimes more) on housing, as compared to most places, where that stat is around 30%. In my single-income household, housing charges are our biggest expense. The second biggest chunk of money that goes out the door? Can you guess? Food. Because we like to eat good. Both at home, and when we go out.

Shopping at local produce markets (I love Donald’s), and shopping seasonally are both great ways to save money.

The thing I love the most about Well Fed, Flat Broke, is how well it reflects our multi-cultural city. I’ve lived in other places, and struggled to get authentic ingredients to make dishes from other cultures. Here in Vancouver, we don’t have that problem–pretty much anything you need is readily available, although it may merit a trip across town.

Emily’s recipes reflect the influence of all these different cultures: Asian, Italian, Mexian, Korean, Indian, all with the whimsical touch of a gal from East Van.

I’ve made about half a dozen of the recipes from this book so far, and loved them all, including a fantastic bread recipe the incorporated garlic scapes and cheese. Today, though, I’m sharing her recipe for Kimchi Fried Rice. I recently got turned on to the world of fermentation, and am now making my own kimchi. Emily uses it in many recipes in this book (Emily is also a little obsessed with your digestive health). I loved this as a quick and easy dinner or lunch–you could also omit the egg and the bacon (or use a veggie bacon) to make it vegan.

You can meet Emily at the Well Fed, Flat Broke book launch at Barbara Jo’s on April 19.

 

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A Beginner’s Guide to Fermenting: KimChi

This week is all about new, healthy ways of getting the most nutrients out of your food.

Actually, “new” is a misnomer. “Old” is probably a better term. Sprouting and fermenting are two really old ways of preparing food, but we’ve gotten away from them. Sprouting takes a little work, but it’s actually pretty easy, and the health benefits are great (read my post from Tuesday for more info). Fermenting freaks a lot of people out, I think. We’re pretty afraid of getting food poisoning.

kimchi

However, eating fermented foods is really, really good for you.

You see, our guts (which is your stomach, small and large intestine), need bacteria. A lot of bacteria. Different kinds. These bacteria help to break down our food, and they even help us to get nutrition from our food. They also protect you from getting sick and support your immune system.

I recently had to take a course of antibiotics, and one of the challenges with that kind of medication is that it kills all the bacteria in your gut, the bad and the good. One way to fill your belly up with good bacteria is to eat fermented foods.

They include:

  • yogurt or kefir
  • miso
  • kombucha
  • sauerkraut
  • tempeh
  • sourdough
  • pickles
  • kimchi

You can buy all of these products  in the grocery store, but they’re even better if you make them yourself. And they are surprisingly easy to make! I got a yogurt maker last year, and I have been making my own yogurt in it–next I want to try kefir.
I just recently got this book, Fresh & Fermented: 85 Delicious Ways to Make Fermented Carrots, Kraut, and Kimchi Part of Every Meal, after meeting the author, Julie O’Brian, at The Wellness Show.

The book is a bit of an eye-opener. The first part explains the advantages of fermenting, why it’s good for you, and how it’s been incorporated into the cuisine of many cultures for hundreds, and in some cases, thousands, of years. The second part shares a few basic fermenting recipes: basic kraut, basic kimchi, and basic fermented carrots. The third part of the book is recipes that you can make with your ferments, and this is where it gets a little mind-blowing. You can included your fermented food in smoothies, grilled cheeses, mac ‘n’ cheese, dips, even desserts (“Sweet and Sauer Chocolate Pudding”)!

I decided to start out with something easy and make kimchi. If you’re not familiar with this Korean staple, kimchi is a spicier version of something that most resembles a sauerkraut. It’s mostly eaten as a condiment, a fiery addition to almost any meal in Korea. In fact, they consume 18 kilos of the stuff per year, per person! Wikipedia

It’s not hard to make, but you need a little patience, because it takes about a week to do its thing. I made mine in a flip-top mason jar, but you could just as easily do it in one with a screw-on lid.

kimchi ingredients

Firefly Kimchi

Ingredients:

  • one head of cabbage (I used Napa)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt (coarse is better)
  • 3 tbsp thinly sliced green onions
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbps minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp (I used less, because I’m a wimp) Korean red pepper. I just used regular dried chilies, along with a pinch of chipotle, and it turned out fine.

Method:

  1. Peel off the outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut off the stem of the cabbage (save for later), and then cut it in half, length-wise. Slice each half into ribbons, of about 1/4″ wide.
  2. Place the cabbage in a large bowl, and sprinkle it with the salt. With your hands, mix it all up well together. Let it sit on the counter for about a half an hour or so, until it has wilted down to about half its size. It will have a very watery base to it. Add the rest of the ingredients, and toss well.
  3. Place the whole works into your mason jar. Make sure that the brine is completely covering the cabbage. Use your reserved cabbage stem to weight it down, and make sure that there is some head room (about 1″) in the jar. Let the jar sit at room temperature for about a week, and then it’s ready to eat! After it’s fermented, you can store it in the fridge.

For more recipes to cook with your kimchi, check out The Firefly Kitchen’s Blog.

 

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