Tradition: Kimchi-Giving

It’s takes an entire day – yes, a whole day to make a batch of Kimchi that will last my family 2-3 months depending on our appetite and craving for this crunchy, perfectly spicy, salty & sweet homemade kimchi.  

Since I started making my own kimchi back in 2007 when I first met Maangchi, my family has learned to eat a lot of complementing Korean dishes with my home-made kimch.  

I am proud that I make a good balance of flavor with the best ingredients I can find.  Every year I make more kimchi not just for our consumption but also to give and share to special friends who are always in line waiting for my freshly made kimchi.  

It is becoming a tradition.  Making kimchi and giving it away 😊.  Sharing food is one of my favorite ways to show love, thanks and appreciation to a friend or a family member.

Can’t you smell my kimchi?

Individually jarred and ready to give away Kimchi

 

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I made Kimchi today!!!!

November is the usual month of the year that I make kimchi but because our supply wasn’t much last year, I had to make some again.  Today, I just made about 14 pounds of cabbages and 1 medium size daikon for my KKakdugi (cubed radish kimchi).  It took me almost 4 hours to make it and it was all worth it.

My recipe came from my very good friend Maangchi and I have been using her recipe for about 7-8 years now.  A few years back, I posted my Homemade Kimchi blog post, visit the page and enjoy more photos of how to make kimchi plus my personal recipe as adapted from Maangchi’s recipe.

I gave a few jars to some friends.  My family will be enjoying our family dinner with our freshly made kimchi!  Mmmmm.. I must not have lunch and get ready to feast tonight.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a message.  If you search my blog using search word “kimchi,” you will learn more on how to make your own.  Thanks for visiting my Blog.

“Kongguksu” – Soy Milk Cold Noodle Soup

Inspired by Maangchi, I wanted to create my own version of her Soy Milk Cold Noodle.  It was super easy and I loved it. Although my family doesn’t like cold noodle dishes that much, I personally enjoyed the nutty and creamy cold soup base.

This is a very easy and healthy & economical noodle dish perfect for the warm days of coming summer months.

For the recipe, you can visit Maangchi’s website.  She is the expert and I am just a fan.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a message.

IMG_4708

Wash Soy Beans and remove dead floating ones
Wash Soy Beans and remove dead floating ones
Soak for 10-12 hours
Soak for 10-12 hours
After soaking, wash well  with bare hands and scrub soy beans together to remove softened skin.
After soaking, wash well with bare hands and scrub soy beans together to remove softened skin.
After washing the soy beans well, cook for 10-15 minutes then drain.
After washing the soy beans well, cook for 10-15 minutes then drain.
Put soy beans, salt, mixed nuts in the blender
Put soy beans, salt, mixed nuts in the blender
Add water (2 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of cooked soybeans) and some ice then blend until smooth
Add water (2 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of cooked soybeans) and some ice then blend until smooth

Low-Calorie Dukbokki 떡볶이

Low-carb, low sodium, sugar-free, low fat, low-calorie, all the lows and frees in the world.  But nothing beats eating your favorite Korean spicy rice cake (Dukbokki).  The original recipe calls for Korean rice cakes made of glutinous rice flour.  For people who are on a low-carbohydrate, low-sugar diet, each bite of Dukbokki seem sinful but really, it’s not.  I’ve searched online that Dukbokki is naturally low in calorie if eaten in moderation.  However, for people like my husband, a small bowl is not enough 🙂

Inspired to cook a guiltless version of spicy rice cake for my husband, I created this recipe and because it does not use the original ingredients, do not expect the texture to be the same.  The best thing about it is it taste as great as my original Dukbokki.

My key ingredient is Konnyaku.  I first used this type of ingredient when I made sukiyaki, another family favorite.  I use a similar type of ingredient called Shirataki noodles.  Both are very low carbohydrate and very low calorie.  To learn more about these ingredients, please read related articles below this post.  One thing for sure, konyakku is guilt-free and it helps normalize blood sugar levels.  One of my favorite vegan substitute for meat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of Japanese Konnyaku, thinly sliced according to your liking
  • 4 cups Water
  • 10-12 pcs. Large korean anchovies, head and innards removed
  • 3-4 pcs. Flat fish cake sheets, sliced diagonally
  • 1/4 cup Chopped red bell pepper
  • 3-6 tbsp. Hot pepper paste
  • Sliced green onions
  • 1-2 tbsp. Sweet rice flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar substitute (stevia or splenda)
  • Sesame oil

Boil the water and dried anchovies in a shallow pan for 10 minutes.  Remove the anchovies (i leave a few pieces for texture) then add  the konnyaku, hot pepper paste and sugar substitute.

Add fish cake, red bell pepper and green onions.  Make sure to mix the sweet rice flour in cold water before adding to the pan.  Cook until the spicy sauce thickens according to liking.  Finally, add sesame oil.

Great eaten when freshly cooked!

I hope to hear from readers who will try this recipe.  It’s super easy and satisfying.

Related articles:

Konnyaku

My original Dukbokki

Maangchi‘s Dukbokki recipe

Vegetable Minestrone

I have this feeling that this Vegetable Minestrone will not be a sellout at home because my family is not into eating over-cooked veggies like the mixed greens I put in this soup. Let’s see what they have to say.

 

Anyway, it’s tough learning about cooking healthful options for our family’s menu but I am trying my best to change our eating habits. Hard as I thought, it was difficult to throw away almost all the processed food from our pantry but after slowly changing our supply with only the fresh, wholefood and necessary – I feel more challenged as the mother and the “cook”.

I am responsible for what my family eats. Eat healthy and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Brown onion, chopped
  • 1 Large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 4 Celery stalks, chopped
  • 5 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Lb. of Swiss chard or Kale, coarsely chopped (I used mixed greens on this recipe)
  • 1 Medium Potato, peeled and cubed
  • 15 Ounces of canned diced tomatoes (unsalted)
  • 1 Fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 Piece of parmesan cheese rind
  • 2 Cans (14-ounce) Low-sodium beef broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 Can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Can black whole olives, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp of chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and Pepper

Heat the olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, carrots and celery. Saute until the onion is translucent. After a few minutes, add the potato and the greens. Saute for a few minutes then add the canned tomatoes and the rosemary. Simmer until the greens are wilted, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend 1/2 of the beans with 1/4 cup of the beef or vegetable broth until smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining of the broth and the parmesan cheese rind into the pot of vegetable mixture. Simmer and stir occasionally, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in the rest of the cannellini beans, olives and parsley. Simmer until the beans and olives are heated through. Season with salt and pepper, according to taste.

Jade’s score: 9.8 (out of 10) 🙂

Duk bokki (Spicy rice cakes 떡볶이)

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Also known as Tteokbokki, this is a popular Korean snack food.  I first tasted this from the to-go counter at a local Korean Supermarket.  My husband likes this a lot and because it’s so easy to make, we prefer making our own than buying from the store.

Here’s my easy recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

Rice Cake (Tubes), Green Onions, Fish Cake, Red Bell Peppers, Hot Pepper Paste, Dried Anchovy, Sugar, Sesame Oil and Water

Prepare your ingredients: Wash the rice cakes in cold water and separate the tubes into individual pieces. Slice the fish cakes, green onions and mince the bell pepper.

In a shallow pan, add 3-4 cups of cold water and add 5-10 large pieces of dried anchovies depending on your taste(making sure to remove the heads and intestines).  Cover your pan and boil for a couple of minutes over medium high heat.  Remove the anchovies and add the rice cakes, 5 Tbsp. of hot pepper paste and 1 Tbsp. of sugar.  Mix and simmer for 1 minute.

Add the remaining ingredients, bell peppers, fish cakes and green onions.  Keep cooking and stir until the spicy sauce thickens.  Before serving, add a dash of sesame oil.  Serve warm!!  Perfect snack, appetizer, or meal.  Enjoy!!!

Easy Kimchi (막김치)

During my first month of blogging, I posted a collage of the same photos.  This time, I was able to organize my pictures so you can see them on a slideshow.  I hope you like my pictures and I hope it inspires you to make your own.

I got this recipe from Maangchi’s easy-to-make pickled season cabbage recipe.   She simply makes korean cooking look so easy 🙂

Happy weekend to all!!!

Mak Kimchi_4689438363_l

Pork & Kimchee Casserole (kimchi chighe)

Two weeks ago, I made a fresh batch of Kimchi and it is happily fermenting in our refrigerator.   This is the perfect time to cook up a nice casserole of Kimchi Chighe.

This is one recipe that’s very easy, healthy, appetizing and filling.  This is how I got my husband hooked up with Kimchi 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 lb boneless pork chop sliced thinly and cut into 2″ in length  (substitute could be pork belly)
  • 3/4-1 cup of Kimchi
  • 3 cups beef stock or anchovy stock
  • 1 block of Silken Tofu
  • 4 dried Shiitake Mushrooms, soaked in water
  • 2 stalks of Green Onions

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, cook and stir the pork.  When meat is nearly done, add in the drained Kimchi.  Reserve the kimchi liquid.

After a while of cooking, add in the Kimchi liquid and beef stock and bring to boil.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a shallow casserole, arrange the cut-up tofu, shiitake mushrooms (cut in quarters or whole ones if you prefer), and sliced green onions.  Add the Kimchi and Pork soup and heat.   When tofu begins to shake you may add chrysanthemum leaves or more green onions.

Make a Bento Box

I am crazy for Bento and my dream is to become a  Bento Chef 🙂  Is there such a person? 

To prepare a bento box,  first of all, even before you start being creative, you need to have the money to buy all these tiny things to make your bento look really cute.  I love purchasing small bento accessories.  I buy only the best ones I like and keep them for future use.  These accessories are quite pricey considering that most of them are disposable so if you are practical, try to reuse these super cute bento accessories.  I am into knick knacks when it comes to cooking and I adore the colorful creations seen at Japanese Bento books.  When I see the photos of wonderfully made bento boxes, I always wish I could make that too.

Here, I created a simple bento box for lunch.  What’s included?

  1. Pan Fried Alaskan Salmon fillet
  2. Brown rice with pre-cut sea weed topping
  3. Seasoned blanched Broccoli
  4. Seasoned Spinach
  5. Fresh-cut Nectarines

Here’s how I made it:

For the Salmon, I just seasoned the salmon with salt and pepper then pan-fried with Olive Oil, about 5-8 minutes per side on Medium high until the skin is crispy.

For the Broccoli, boil water into a tiny pot or saucepan and season with salt.  Blanch the broccoli for a minute then drain and quickly rinse under cold water.  Using the same saucepan, brown some garlic on olive oil then add the blanched broccoli.  Season with a mixture of light soy sauce, a dash of sugar and some cooking sake.

For the Spinach, boil water into a tiny pot and season with salt.  Blanch 1 bunch of spinach then wash in cold water, drain and squeeze off the excess liquid.  Randomly chop to create bite sizes of the spinach.   Season with minced fresh garlic, light soy sauce, dash of sugar, tiny drop of sesame oil and a few pinches of sesame seed.

For the Brown Rice, cook it accordingly.  You can use left-over rice that you have in your fridge.   I just used my sushi mold to shape the rice like so (see photo) then topped it with a pre-cut seasoned laver (sea weed). 

For the Nectarine, cut into bite sizes and add into the bento.

I try my best to keep my seasoning at its minimum to make sure my cooking will taste as natural as it is. 

If you have some quick bento recipes to share, please do share to me 🙂