water kimchi

Water kimchi is clean, refreshing and versatile. It can be made with just about any type of produce, I always encourage folks to use what they have on hand, it’s that simple. It’s non-spicy and full of probiotics; it’s a delicious & healthy option for kids! This recipe was a collaboration with City Harvest, early 2018, to encourage people to eat more fresh more often, affordably.

suin park
kimchi slaw
slaw over rice.jpg

kimchi over rice is sometimes all you need to make a healthy complete meal. At the end of the day, all you want is something simple, flavorful, with little effort. This dish was a go-to for my mom and I find myself making the same using fresh, delicious, contrasting textures.

You can prepare this in no time and any leftovers will taste even better next day as the flavors continue to dance.

This is a great way to use up any odds & ends or excess in your fridge. Depending on what you have in the fridge at that moment, it’s different every time.

all you need:

  • fresh produce such as carrots, radish, onions, chives/green onions, apples (you get the idea)

  • make thin matchsticks out of all your produce; slice the green onions on a bias (looks pretty) and throw all the contents into a bowl that is big enough to mix.

  • dollop(s) of kimchi sauce, to taste.

  • mix thoroughly; if you use less sauce, go ahead and season with salt & sugar (optional).

  • garnish: sesame seeds, fresh veggies as show in photo (enoki mushrooms, cucumber, cabbage), gochujang sauce, sesame oil (optional)

  • substitute rice with quinoa, grains or noodles & enjoy!

refrigerate any leftovers, good up to 3-5 days; the liquid that seeps out of the veggies should definitely be used too, it’s full of good nutrients.

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labneh with kimchi oil & roasted almonds

Line a strainer with coffee filter(s), spoon yogurt into the filter. Place the strainer over a bowl and cover. Place in fridge to strain 6hr-overnight.

Kimchi oil:

How much of the ingredients you use depends on how much you want to make, as well as your personal taste. Below is a basic recipe, feel free to add more garlic or shallots. As for the spice level, add as little or as much of the kimchi sauce to your taste. Making this chili oil in advance lets all the ingredients come together for a deeper nuttier taste.

At home, we make a large jar of this so it lasts us for a while. It keeps well in the fridge for at least a month; while in the fridge, you might notice that the oil solidifies, let it sit in room temperature before you use, otherwise, spooning it right away is fine too as the oil liquefies on the dish.

In a pan, toss in minced garlic (5-10 cloves, to taste) & a minced shallot; cover with olive oil, enough to cover the contents completely. On low heat, let it come to a gentle simmer. Let it cook for 15-20 minutes, stir occasionally until the garlic softens (without browning); add a dollop or two of the kimchi sauce; toss in chopped roasted almonds (or nut of preference), stir and let it simmer for a minute for the nuts to warm through. Season with a pinch of salt & sugar. Turn off the heat and remove pan from heat source. Let the contents cool to room temperature before you pour it over the labneh.

I like to make extra kimchi oil, as labneh works it’s way down, top off with more kimchi oil mixture.

Garnish with extra chopped roasted nuts.

Kimchi oil is also delicious with:

  • good crusty bread

  • drizzled over your:

    • eggs

    • hummus

    • soup (especially pureed)

  • add to mayo or cream cheese to make a sandwich spread or simply on its own.

suin park
rice cake (tteokbokki) gnocchi mac & cheese style
rice cake gnocchi.jpg

We grew up eating kimchi with spaghetti, Mom surprised us the first time she made traditional Italian tomato sauce, she got the recipe from one of the Italian customers at the store. She made this often in the basement of the store and the smell would just fill up the place. As it simmered for hours, it tested our patience.

This recipe calls for a simple sauce, feel free to use any of your favorite store bought marinara sauce, we’ll flavor it with kimchi and kimchi sauce, then bake it with rice cake (tteokbokki) gnocchi, with cheese of course. As the ingredients bake and come together, the rice cakes become pillowy and the sauce creamy and piquant. Warm & comforting like a big hug. If you don’t have access to rice cake, use your favorite macaroni.

what you will need:

  • 1 Tbsp of oil for sweating vegetables

  • ½ onion, minced (optional)

  • 1 carrot, minced (optional)

  • 1 Tbsp of butter or plant-based substitute

  • 1 Tbsp of all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup of milk or plant-based milk, warmed

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)

  • ½ cup of chopped kimchi

  • 2 Tbsp (or to taste) Kimchi Sauce

  • 1-40oz jar of marinara sauce

  • 1 cup of grated cheese or substitute

  • 2 lbs of fresh rice cake cylinders (or refrigerated packages*), cut into ½” pieces

Serves 4.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Sweat vegetables:  In a fry pan, on low-med heat, add oil and let it warm up.  Add onion, carrot and let it sweat; lower heat if vegetables start to brown, add a little bit of water if required.  Stir occasionally to avoid browning.  Once the onions are translucent and carrots soften, remove off heat, and place the vegetables into a bowl and place off to the side.

For the roux:  Place the pan back on the heat at medium, melt butter, next add flour and stir to avoid scorching.  Reduce heat to med-low.  Let mixture cook gently, to avoid raw flour taste, continue to stir about 45 seconds.  Slowly add warm milk into the mixture, stir continuously to remove any lumps and avoid burning until till tiny bubbles form. 

Next, stir in garlic, chopped kimchi, kimchi sauce and the sweated vegetables into the mix.  Add the marinara sauce, stir and bring to a gentle boil.  At this point, add cheese, stir, and remove from heat.

In a baking pan, spoon sauce and spread across the bottom of the pan.  Place the rice cake pieces into the pan, pour in the sauce to the desired consistency.  Mix to incorporate sauce evenly throughout.  To avoid clumping, make sure to use enough sauce to coat each rice cake. 

Cover with foil, bake in oven for 35-45 mins, till rice cakes are soft and pillowy.  Remove from oven, let rest for 5 minutes.  Remove foil carefully to prevent burn from the steam.  Serve in bowls, add additional cheese if desired, and garnish with fresh chopped green onions.

*If using refrigerated packaged rice cakes, soak rice cakes in cold water for 30 minutes before baking.

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fresh pineapple kimchi skewers

This snack takes me back to the streets of Thailand, ladies selling little bags of sliced fruits with a side of dried chili peppers and salt. Our pineapple skewer was inspired by those flavors - sweet, salty with a spicy kick.

what you will need:

  • whole pineapple

  • 1 tbsp red onions or shallots, finely minced

  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, chiffonnade

  • 1-2 tbsp kimchi sauce (or to taste)

Cut the top & bottom off the pineapple; remove the exterior around the fruit.

Cut fruit in half, then cut each half into quarters.

Remove the core from each quarter.

Slice each quarter lengthwise into 3-4 wedges.

Place wedges into a bowl, toss in red onions and kimchi sauce.  Mix gently with clean hands to ensure even coating. 

Place in the fridge until ready to serve.  when serving, place each wedge through a bamboo skewer. Sprinkle with fresh mint chiffonnade (garnishing just prior to serving prevents wilting and discoloring).

Can be made the night before to half hour before serving.  

Keeps in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.


Other ideas:

  • doing a BBQ? feel free to throw the skewers on the grill to caramelize.

  • can also be made into a salad or salsa, using same ingredients, by simply cutting the fruit to appropriate size.

  • recipe is also suited for other fruits such as firm mangos, apples, jicama, asian/bosc pears.

suin park
kimchi cream cheese party dip
kimchi dip.jpg

My mom ate toast in the mornings at the store, it was quick and easy between customers. She would place slices in a toaster oven, two at a time, always at the same settings that resulted in an evenly light brown surface with the right amount of hardness. She let it cool just enough to avoid getting the bread soggy from the mayo and kimchi. She actually ate all western foods with kimchi, she said it went down easier. Sometimes, she would talk at length praising kimchi and how it was a taste saver. She later moved from mayo to cream cheese, I decided to use both in this dip.

  • 1 - 8 oz package of cream cheese (room temperature)

  • 1-2 Tbsp of mayo

  • 1 -2 Tbsp of Kimchi Sauce

  • ¼ cup of finely chopped kimchi (optional)

  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced

  • 1 shallot, finely minced (optional)

  • Dash of sugar (optional)

  • Salt, to taste (optional)

Substitute: if you have no kimchi on-hand, use fresh chopped onions and minced carrots to give some texture.

Whip cream cheese, mayo and kimchi sauce with a hand mixer; or stir by hand but it will have chunky pieces of cream cheese (and there’s nothing wrong with that!).

Stir in chopped kimchi, garlic, shallots and sugar.  Mix thoroughly.

Keep dip covered in a container & refrigerated until ready to serve.  Can be made 1-2 days in advance, so that the flavors meld. 

When serving, always use a clean spoon.

Keeps in the fridge up to 7-10 days.

Use it on toast, bagels, sandwiches, dip your crudites, slather it on fresh salmon and bake.

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sauteed shrimps

Seafood & kimchi are natural collaborators.  This combo is great in salads, wraps, tacos or simply over rice.

Start by soaking the shrimp in a cold brine before cooking, this refreshes the shrimp, giving it a plump juicy snap. I prefer using smaller shrimps, it’s sweeter and doesn’t require deveining.

what you will need:

  • 1 lb of shrimp (51/60 or 61/70)

  • 1-2 tbsp butter, ghee, or cooking oil (neutral flavored (grapeseed oil, canola oil (non-gmo))

  • 1 tbsp kimchi sauce, or to taste

  • 1 tbsp of garlic (optional)


  • 2 tbsp salt (seasalt, kosher)

  • 1 quart of water

In a large bowl, soak shrimps in salt & water brine.  Let soak for 20-30 minutes in the fridge.  When ready to use, strain the water, rinse and drain. Pat the shrimps dry with paper towel.

Heat the frying pan on med-high heat, add butter (or oil of choice) and let it heat up, Next, add the kimchi sauce and let it gently bubble, at this point toss in the garlic and stir, then add in the shrimps, stir to coat evenly.  When the shrimps turn opaque, turn off the heat and plate.  Small shrimps cook rather quickly, so do not move away from the stove and stir frequently.

note: soaking the shrimps in the brine helps remove the sticky film often found on frozen shrimps, as well as improving the taste & texture.

Small shrimps cook faster and does not require deveining; larger shrimps will need to be deveined to avoid grittiness.

shrimp ksauce.jpg
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jicama cubes

When we moved to Canada, it was hard to find Korean produce, My mother tried to find vegetables similar in texture to the produce in Korea. Here is a simple kimchi. I love the crispy textures and clean taste of jicama, especially when eaten fresh. Koreans enjoy freshly made kimchi just as much as the fermented kinds.

what you will need:

  • jicama

  • chives (or scallions)

  • shallots or red onions, minced (optional)

  • sesame seeds

  • dash of salt, to taste (optional)

peel the jicama, slice in half and remove the pit.  cut each halve into cubes and place in a bowl.

cut chives 1/2" length and toss into bowl.

add kimchi sauce (to taste) and mix to incorporate sauce evenly.  garnish with sesame seeds.  can be eaten immediately or made a few hours in advance.

it's delicious & good for you:

jicama is full of vitamins (vitamin C, potassium, folates, riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, and thiamin); minerals (magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese); antioxidants, dietary fiber and water. 


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