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.

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kimchi slaw
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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 without compromise. This was a go-to for my mom and I find myself doing the same: fresh, delicious, full of contrasting textures.

You can have this simple slaw kimchi in no time and any leftovers taste even better later, as the flavors continue to dance.

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)

  • serve over rice, 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
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Labneh:
Line a strainer with coffee filter(s), spoon yogurt into the filter. Place the strainer over a bowl and cover. Place in fridge 6hr-overnight.

Kimchi oil:
In a pan, toss in minced garlic (2-3 cloves, to taste) & 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); toss in chopped roasted almonds (or nut of preference). Season with a pinch of salt & sugar. Warm the nuts through, turn off the heat and remove pan from heat source. Let the contents cool to room temperature before you pour 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

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

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rice cake (tteokbokki) gnocchi mac & cheese style
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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 our Italian customers. 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 required an immense test of 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, kimchi sauce and bake it with rice cake gnocchi & cheese, of course. When it all comes together, the pillowy rice cakes in a creamy piquant sauce warms and comforts you.

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. This 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, chiffonade

  • 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 chiffonade (prior to serving prevents 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.

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kimchi cream cheese party dip
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My mom ate toast in the mornings at the store, it was quick and easy between customers. She would toast her 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 hard. She let it cool just a enough not to soggy up the bread with mayo and kimchi. She actually ate all western foods with kimchi, she said it went down easier with. 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 chopped kimchi, optional

  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced

  • Dash of sugar, optional

Substitute: if you have no kimchi on-hand, use fresh chopped onions, 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, and sugar.  Mix thoroughly.

Keep dip covered in a container & refrigerated until ready to serve.  Can be made hours in advance or overnight, so that the flavors meld. 

When serving, always use a clean spoon.

Keeps in the fridge up to 7 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.  great in salads, wraps, tacos or simply over rice. soaking the shrimp in a brine before cooking gives it a 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 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)

brine:

  • 1 tbsp salt (seasalt, kosher)

  • 1 quart of water

in a large bowl, soak shrimps in salt & water brine.  let soak for 30 minutes, in the fridge if up to an hour.  this refreshes the shrimp, giving it a plump juicy bite.  when ready to use, strain the water, pat the shrimps dry with paper towel.

heat the frying pan on med-high heat, add oil of choice and let it warm up, add the kimchi sauce and let it bubble, at this point toss in the garlic and stir, add in the shrimps and gently stir to coat every shrimp.  when the shrimps turn opaque, turn off heat and plate.  small shrimps cook rather quickly, so do not move away from the stove.

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 (required on larger shrimps, otherwise it leaves an undesirable grittiness).

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jicama cubes

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

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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