Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Kimchi Dreamin'

Gosh, I love Kimchi. Or is it Kim Chi, kimchee, kim chee or kimchi?   After tasting Korean vegetarian cuisine at HanGawi, (an extraordinary restaurant in the shadow of the Empire State Building on 32nd St.) there was no going back to a life without hot pepper flakes from the Korean market.

A HanGawi meal starts with a Soju Cocktail.  Then:  Mango Pear Salad.  Tofu Kimchi Hotpot.  Mushroom sizzler.  Spicy Kimchi Mushroom Pancakes.  Fresh, beautiful, elegant.

I'm depending on my crossword  colleagues to set me straight on the spelling of KIMCHI.  And is it one or two words? Please advise, Joon.

In the meantime, I'm going to make kimchi.

Napa cabbage, garlic, scallions, daikon radish in a spicy sauce.  All that cruciferous, anti-oxidant goodness in a dish that, until I watched this video, seemed a bit out of my cooking range.

The very nice lady in this YouTube tutorial gives me hope. I think I can. The chef uses apples, apple pears and sugar to sweeten the sauce. Lovely.

During these "wintry-mix" days, I dream of coming home, kicking off my salt-encrusted, almost-destroyed boots and heading for the fridge where . . . containers of Kimchi are waiting to calm me down.

Dear Friends . . . if you've made Kimchi, please share your experiences with this Newbie.  And if you've devised a vegan version (a substitute for the fish sauce), I'm all ears.

Have a delicious day!


Deb Amlen said...

I knew I liked you for a reason! Korean cuisine is one of my favorites. When we finally thaw out, we need to go to HanGawi.

By the way, just wanted to tell you about my favorite Korean recipe site, She's very funny, her recipes rock.

La Liz said...

Deb, good idea -- I like your optimistic use of language, as in "when we finally thaw out."

Great site recommendation! I already see a kimchi recipe that addresses my vegan question. Many thanks, Deb!

Joanne said...

My vote is for kimchi.

And yeah, maybe the spice from this will be enough to defrost me on one of these horribly frigid days. At the least, it will make my hair stand on end.

Howard B said...

I've seen it both as kimchee and kimchi, but I am definitely no expert here, only a casual menu reader and general spicy-things enthusiast. Think you're pretty safe in the transliteration department.

Just as tasty either way :).

Joon said...

i wish i were some kind of expert, but i belong firmly to a "roll your own" heritage when it comes to transliteration. that's how i ended up with the name pahk even though i have the same korean name as the millions of people named park--my dad was feeling creative at immigration. so, kimchi or kimchee or whatever you like is fine. :) i feel a little more strongly about the number of words; it's definitely one word. some people put spaces in willy-nilly after every syllable when they transliterate korean, but that seems awfully profligate to me.

but you're a braver soul than i if you actually do make your own. i remember watching my grandmother do it one summer, and the whole apartment stunk for weeks.

CoolPapaD said...

Love everything about your puzzles - can't believe I've never seen this site til tonight! Thanks for all the entertainment you've provided me, including the Beethoven tonight.

I've never tried this kimchi recipe, but this site has many terrific vegan recipes (the sausages are wonderful) - good luck:

Thanks again!

Craig said...

In general, I love Maangchi's site, but her kimchee is... different. She uses a kind of rice flour porridge which makes the kimchee a bit thick. It's a good starting point, though.

For vegetarian fish sauce substitute, Mark Bittman has a recipe in How to Cook Anything Vegetarian. For a more fishy flavor, use a strong seaweed like wakame.