Do It Yourself!: Kimchi
And one of those indispensable ethics is the is the fundamental punk ethic of D.I.Y... Do-It-Yourself!
And this last Thursday, I was able to abide by that ethic as I was invited to make my own kimchi! By ways of a workshop hosted by Pasadena's Cham Bistro, I was taught the salty ways of Korea's revered staple food.
I Learn With My Hands
The workshop took place at the jointly owned !iT Jeans Factory aka. their kitchen headquarters in the industrial City Of Vernon. Other kimchi students included pastry chef Jashmine Corpuz, Gastronmy Blog, Deep End Dining, E*StarLA, Harriet Ellis of KCRW and Eastside Food Bites
You Can't Learn On An Empty Stomach!: Roasted Kale, Assorted Tofu Skin Pouches & A Seared Tuna Pop
Some pre-class snacks included some of their popular tofu pockets. Tofu pounded thin, fried and then brined with sweet vinegar encased rice topped with things like sweet seaweed, mulched Salmon and my favorite...kimchi topped with crispy candied anchovies. The roasted kale had a dangerously addicting salty junk food like thing about it, Jashmine Corpus swore it was fried, albeit salty as all hell--I wanted to eat more kale but couldn't due to its excessive saltiness.
Makgeolli 'Cham-tail': Pineapple, Agave Syrup, Sprite
But all the better to quench my thirst with their exclusive 'Cham-Tail' of the unfiltered rice wine goodness known as Magkeolli. It was mixed with pineapple, agave and sprite here. I found it a bit too sweet to my liking but fuuug it, still pounded it since it went well with the salty food to come.
Chef Professor EJ Jeong: Showing Us What's Up With Kimchi
I was in the first group up and stood fascinated at the intricate process of making this salty vegetable staple. I dunked and layered my kimchi with the chili rub as best as I can but it still did not compare to other peoples slathering skills....
Pre Mixed Kimchi Marinade
At the end of the crash course, we were treated to an ultra traditional plate bo saam which consisted of slices of braised pork shoulder, salted napa cabbage, sesame leaves, fermented chili paste, radish kimchi teeny tiny but salty as hell shrimp and a raw oyster.
A Meal For All Our Hard Work!: Bo Saam
I had underestimated those tiny raw shrimps as I slathered them on my makeshift sesame leaf taco. Apparently you are only supposed to use one or two, and then with that salted napa cabbage, salted fermented chili paste and oyster? By the end of the class I had imbibed at least 5 cups of water!
Persimmon Kimchi: Korean Equivalent of Mexican Chile Dried Mangoes?
Just when I thought I couldn't take anymore salt, they brought out some house made Persimmon Kimchi. I had never even heard of this but relished in the sweet, spicy and salty flavor of it. The pickling had rendered them slightly softer than their crispy pre-pickling texture so they were ultimately softer and just the right texture for me, no crisp nectarines or persimmons for me thank you very much! The recipe for these is the same as the following recipe for cabbage kimchi, the only difference is the removal of chopped shrimp.
Anyways, it was a pretty rad experience and I am eagerly waiting to pop open my jar of kimchi as soon as the recommended 20 days are over (14 days left!).
They are going to be hosting another kimchi workshop this Saturday for all you Kimchi curious readers out there.
Making Kimchi with Chef EJ Jeong
Saturday, November 20 from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Cham Bistro R&D Kitchen (5251 S. Santa Fe Avenue, Vernon, CA 90058)
COST: $40 per person (Includes Korean tapas, a cocktail, and kimchi to take home.)
RSVP: Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited to 20 people.
Nonetheless, here is the recipe!
Chef EJ Jeong's Kimchi Recipe
Tong Baechu Kimchi (Whole Napa Cabbage Kimchi)
1. Wilting The Napa Cabbage
2 heads Napa cabbage
2 cups sea salt
8 cups water
Preparation And Procedure:
Trim the cabbage by removing any brown leaves on the outer layers. Slice the center of the cabbage’s stem 2 inches deep. Put your thumbs in the slit and pull it apart to divide it into two.
Soak all cabbage leaves in salted water for about 20 minutes. 20 minutes later, sprinkle the other half of the salt between each of the thick part of the leaves.
Cut side of cabbage should face up while wilting in salted water.
You need to rotate the cabbage in the bottom part to the top part every 2 hours. It will take 5-6 hours.
When it is ready, wash 3 times. Please be gentle and tender.
* 1 cup sweet rice powder
* 5 cups water
* 1 cup coarse Taeyangcho red chili pepper powder
* 5 ounces garlic
* 10 ounces Asian pear, peeled and quartered
* 9 ounces onions, peeled and quartered
* 1 ounce ginger, peeled
* 4 ounces Fresno chilies
* 2 pounds radish, julienned
* 4 ounces minari
* 4 ounces red mustard greens
* 4 ounces Korean chives
* 4 ounces green onions
* 1/4 cup Korean anchovy fish sauce
* 3/4 cup Korean salted shrimp sauce
* 4 ounces fresh shrimp, chopped
* 4 ounces Korean salted shrimp
Preparation And Procedure
Mix purified water with sweet rice powder, dissolving the powder until there are no lumps. Heat the water and rice powder mixture over the stovetop, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. When it starts to form bubbles, reduce the heat and stir continuously. Once the mixture becomes thicker and translucent, turn the heat off. The process from once the mixture is heated to when it becomes the correct consistency and color takes approximately ten minutes. Cool down completely.
Put onion, pear, garlic, fresno and onion in food processor, running the machine until they are minced. Add the produce to the porridge and along with the remaining ingredients, adding the shrimp sauce and anchovy sauce. Mix together.
Chef EJ Jeong’s Persimmon Kimchi Recipe
2 lb peeled persimmons
12 oz kimchi marinade
cup sweet rice powder
5 cups purified water
2 lb radish
4 oz minari
4 oz kat (red mustard)
4 oz Korean chives (thinner than Chinese chives)
5 oz garlic
10 oz Asian pear (peeled)
9 oz onion (peeled)
1 oz ginger (peeled)
1 cup Taeyangcho rd chili pepper powder (coarse)
1/4 cup anchovy fish sauce (Korean)
3/4 cup salted shrimp sauce (Korean)
4 oz fresno
4 oz green onion
Preparation And Procedure: How to Make Porridge
Mix puried water with sweet rice powder, dissolving the power until there are no lumps. Heat the water and rice powder mixture over the stovetop, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. When it starts to form bubbles, reduce heat and stir continuously. Once the mixture becomes thicker and is translucent, turn the heat off. The process from once the mixture is heated to when it becomes the correct consistency and color takes approximately ten minutes. Cool down completely.
Mix Together. Enjoy!
Thanks to chef EJ, Ricardo, Kimmy of Cham Korean Bistro and Kat for hosting an awesome event.