Monday, June 25, 2012

Daikon Radish Kimchee

Blog's Category: International, My Staple Food

Korean cuisine rocks! All our family loves all sorts of kimchee. Also, how about  Korean Shrimp Pancakes - love it! Being from former USSR I can say that some Korean dishes were very popular there, kimchee is one of those.
Radish, or daikon, kimchee is one of my favorite. Here is the way I do it at home. Do not be intimidated - it is easier than you think: mix diced radish with some spices and voila, you've got your kimchee.

- This dish is pretty straightforward which leaves no room for wild fantasy :) Bu you can omit fish sauce. Although do it just if it's absolutely necessary. Fish sauce gives that unique undertones that makes kimchee "kimchee".
- Also you can regulate spiciness level by adding more or less ground red chili pepper. Proportions given below will make the medium level of spiciness :).

How to Serve
- Eat kimchee as a side kick dish with anything. For a formal sitting serve it on the tiny individual plates as a great accompaniment to your entree. For informal - make sure that everybody who dives into a kimchee jar for helpings, makes it with a clean and dry spoon. Have fun with kimchee and be healthy!

Daikon Radish Kimchi

1 large daikon radish (about 12" long and 4" diameter)
2 tbs salt
2 tbs sugar
garlic cloves, peeled and minced/grated
2 inches ginger root, peeled and grated
5 green onions, cut in 1" pieces
5 tbs fish sauce
3 tbs ground red chili pepper

- Peel and cut your daikon into medium size cubes (up to 1"). Place it in a large bowl and mix with salt and sugar. Set aside for a half-hour.

- Meanwhile make your kimchee paste: mix grated garlic, grated ginger, fish sauce and ground pepper into paste.

- Your daikon has to make a lot of juices after standing with salt and sugar for a 30 minutes. Drain juices into separate dish and set it aside - we will need it. Add your kimchee paste to daikon. Mix it nicely.

- Take half of drained juices and add it to daikon. Add green onions also and mix to distribute everything evenly.

- Transfer kimchee into glass jars. Do you best to pack radish pieces tightly in a jar. You have to have enough juices there to cover radishes. If it's not quite covered - do not worry - soon, radishes will give some more juices. Keep jar on a counter, with a lid ajar, for a couple of days for fermentation; or get it in a fridge right away. In any case, kimchee will keep in a fridge for a long time.

- By the way, you can eat kimchee right away. Although, IMHO, it is best after three days of standing on a counter - a bit tingly from fermentation, soaked with flavors, strangely soft and crunchy at the same time and just addictive. Enjoy!

- A bit of warning: it stinks! Well, it may be not the best thing to serve on a formal dining or to take to a friends gathering. This treat has to be enjoyed in solitude or in a trusted family circle! Actually, the worst moment is when jar is opened; but the moment you are getting it in a mouth is the moment of truth when you are just forgetting about first wave of stinkiness and just enjoing sweet-&-sour, spicy-&-flavorful taste of kimchee. Do not allow your initial olfactory impressions to take away great "kimchee adventure"! And, yeaaa - keep that kimchee jar in your refridgerator tightly closed :). 

Amazingly, you will see a lot of juices almost right away. But let it stay for about half-hour.

I totally forgot that I have used my green onions for Mac-&-Chick Soup! Luckily, I have my chives growing just outside the window - so, I mixed in chives instead! Chive flowers are edible and look just awesome here.

I don't see my flowers in there.. I can't wait to taste them.

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