Last weekend I took a kimchi making class at the LA home of a Hae Jung Cho, professional chef and master preserver. I had a blast learning how to make 3 types of kimchi: poggi (whole napa cabbage), kkakdugi (diced radish), and oi muchim (cucumber salad). Learning how to make poggi kimchi gave me a newfound respect for the generations of Korean women that make it.
Although it was a lot of work, I enjoyed the experience and getting my hands dirty with Korean red chili powder, garlic, ginger, and learning the names of the herbs that go into the sok (or ‘filling’ of the poggi kimchi). I always see them at the Korean supermarket produce section but never know what dishes they’re used in.
4 days later, fermented kimchi 🙂
I definitely plan on making the oi muchim and kkakdugi as both were very easy and not labor intensive. Not sure if I’ll make the poggi kimchi again, at least until I live in a home with storage space for ginormous size mixing bowls (that I can easily fit in). I told my mom about the experience and she said, Don’t make poggi kimchi, it’s too much work. Just buy it!. For reals, mom.
If you’re in the LA area and interested in taking a kimchi making class or Korean market tour, check out this interview with Hae Jung Cho where it also lists her contact info. The beauty of the internet, that’s how I learned about her kimchi making class.
I love Korean BBQ places but often the kimchi is disappointing. I dunno why they focus on all the other banchans (side dishes) and meat while neglecting quality kimchi. What ups the flavor quality and experience for me is grilling it to get that nice caramelized taste.
I made some kimchi quesadillas this week as my roommate brought her mom’s homemade kimchi to share. Made with organic, locally grown napa cabbage, it’s really good and even better when grilled and combined w/cheese. Check out my easy recipe for making kimchi quesadillas below. Love me some kimchi and 3-ingredient dishes!
kimchi quesadilla (serves 2)
1/2 cup of kimchi (napa cabbage, ripened), chopped
2 tortillas (I used whole wheat tortillas)
1 cup of shredded cheese
pico de gallo to serve (optional)
Place a frying pan on medium heat and add 1 tsp of vegetable oil and kimchi. Pan fry until browned (in my picture, it looks burned but it’s not) and set aside.
Adjust stove heat to medium low and place a tortilla and sprinkle a handful of cheese evenly on half the tortilla. Scatter half the kimchi on top of the cheese. Place another handful of cheese over the kimchi layer and fold over. Brown both sides of the tortilla or until the cheese is all melted. Place quesadilla on a cutting board; should rest for a few minutes. Slice into 4 pieces and repeat the same process for the 2nd quesadilla. Enjoy w/some pico de gallo.
Try this and tell me what you think! Check out my other Asian fusion recipes like the kimchi mac and cheese, korean tacos, or bulgogi pizza. I also love this blog that features more Asian fusion recipes.
I love watching NBA basketball (and think Charles Barkley is both ridiculously hilarious and insightful). Part of my fascination is seeing the difference between mediocre teams with 1 or 2 superstars versus championship caliber teams with a superstars, chemistry, and leadership. It’s a winning combination of leadership from a head coach that understands the players’ strengths and strategizes accordingly (and commands gravitas over egos), management that supports and not hinders, and players who trust each other and the system. Everyone excels in their role and the end result or sum is greater than its parts.
That’s how I feel about this dish. The sum is greater than its parts. The superstar ingredient, kimchi, get mellowed by the cheesy bechamel sauce (flour + milk + butter) and the kimchi cuts through the richness of the cheese sauce. I took a risk by making this for the first time and bringing it to my church’s Christmas potluck (w/o tasting it first) and many people said they enjoyed it. Try it out with your family/friends! I have a feeling they’ll like it too.
I found the recipe on one of go-to blogs and loved it. The one tweak I made was increasing the panko by an extra cup and more butter (2 more TB). What doesn’t taste better with more butter, right?
If you have leftover kimchi, you can make these pork and kimchi dumplings. Easy and delicious every time.
Tip: bake the dish using aluminum trays for easy clean-up.