Spicy apple kimchi

Most of the things that i cook have a story and a life behind it. For example, I was introduced  to kimchi when i was around 10 years old by my elementary school best-friend, who happens to also be called Esther. Esther is a Kenyan born Korean, i used to spend a lot of time at Esther’s place as a child. During mealtimes kimchi was always served as a side to the most delicious friedrice or plain rice ever. The rice at Esther’s place was the best rice i have ever had in life (not exaggerating). Anyway, this post is about kimchi not rice! The kimchi was so flavourful as well i immediately loved it, therefore it is no wonder that many years later i have learnt to make kimchi for myself and i eat it regularly as a side with everything and on everything.

This recipe is not traditional at all. If that is what you are after there are a ton of YouTube videos with authentic kimchi recipes. However, this recipe is tangy, spicy and tastes like the real deal! In this recipe i added apple to give it a winter twist.

 

What you will need:

1 medium large Napa cabbage
1/2 cup of salt
water

For chili paste: 

2 tbsp sea salt
3/4 cup Gochugaru (korean chilli powder)
2 Tbsp sugar beet molasses
dash of water
3 cloves of crushed garlic (add more if you like)
1 knob of ginger (size depends on your preferences)

Vegetables: 

1 medium sized white radish or daikon (i couldn’t find any daikon so i used radish)
1 small apple
1 leek chopped in circles
some chopped up chives (optional)

Method:

Step 1:

Cut off the bottom part of the napa cabbage, slice lengthwise in half, then cut across into 4 equal parts. Place the 4 pieces into a large bowl and fill with water till the cabbage pieces are well covered, add 1 1/2 cup of salt, cover the bowl and soak up to 24hrs.

Step 2:

The cabbage is well soaked if it no longer snaps when you bend it, it should be elastic.  Once the cabbage is well soaked, drain and rinse with cold water and set aside. Make chili paste in a small bowl by adding all the ingredients and combining everything well together.

Step 3:

In a large bowl add all the vegetables and mix well. Then take a zip lock bag and wear it inside out (the zip lock bag will act as your gloves). Add the chili paste to the vegetables mix, now add in the rinsed cabbage bit by bit and place in the zip lock bag. For this amount i used two 1 liter zip lock bags.

Step 4:

Place the zip lock bags in an air tight container, and store in a dark cool place for three days if you like it very tangy and two days to one day if you prefer it less tangy.  The reason i use zip lock bags is so that the flavorful kimchi smell does not seep into the containers that i use as it is hard to get rid of.

zip lock your kimchi before placing it into an airtight container to avoid the smell seeping into your containers and making the whole fridge smell. I live in a flat-share so this is a real lifehack!

 

Step 5:

Once the three days have passed, place in the fridge and leave it for another five days. However, you can also place it in the fridge and eat it one day after.

Remember if it tastes off follow your gut feeling and get rid of it as this is fermentation and you do not want to contaminate yourself!

 

Kimchi on everything

 

Hello

Have i told you how much i love kimchi. Kimchi and i go way way back. I must admit though that i was very scared of making my own kimchi, as i was scared of contamination and explosions- I know i am a little dramatic.

All things aside my kimchi turned out great and it was delicious. So here is the recipe that i used that i got off the kitchn.

However i did twerk up the recipe and added 1 tablespoon of Sea Salt and 1 cup of water, before letting the kimchi rest for 1 week. After 1 week i placed the kimchi in the fridge and waited 5 days after that i burst that jar open with a POP and then nomnonom.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head (2 pounds) napa cabbage
  • 1/4 cup sea salt or kosher salt
  • Water to soak the Napa Cabbage in

For the Paste

  • 1 Tablespoon of grated garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon of ginger
  • 1  teaspoon of sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons of korean chilli powder ( In Berlin you can get it at Vihn Loi)
  • 3 Tablespoons of Water
  • 1 Small Daikon radish peeled and cut into match sticks
  • half a leek cut into circles ( you can also use spring onions)

Finishing Touch

  • 1 Cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of water

 

Special Equipment:

Airtight seal able jar -I used this  one

Method:

  1. Cut the Cabbage in half l remove the cores and then chop medium sized strips.
  2. Salt the Cabbage, place the cabbage in a big bowl and pour in the salt massage it in well, you can use gloves here but that is purely optional just make sure your hands and nails are clean. The cabbage should start to soften once it has slightly softened add water the water should be enough to cover all of the cabbage. Cover the bowl with a chopping board and place a heavy book or canned goods on top. Let it stand for 2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile make the spicy Paste. In a small bowl mix together the garlic, ginger, sugar, chilli powder and water. Set aside.
  4. Rinse the Cabbage and wash and drain with cold water 3 times. Give the cabbage a good squeeze and drain out all the water. Towel dry the bowl and place the bowl and place the cabbage back in the bowl.
  5. Add in the paste, leek and daikon raddish. Mix everything well together, again use your hands however this time it is more advisable to wear gloves as the chilli could irritate your skin and the garlic smell may take longer to get rid of off your hands. However this is entirely up to you!  Make sure its all mixed together well.
  6. Place the mix in the jar add in 1 tbsp of salt and one cup of water, shut the jar and let the magic happen. Let it ferment at room temperature for 1 to 5 days. I let it ferment for 1 week and then placed it in the fridge and let it stand for another 5 days after that i popped it open.
  7. Check on your kimchi daily- Avoid opening the lid too often though. If anything looks off just write me or if you think something has gone wrong don’t risk  getting sick, dispose of it! Always trust your gut feeling. Taste the kimchi if it is to your liking you can eat it at an earlier stage as well, however please use a clean fork and do not use the same fork once it has been in your mouth to avoid contamination.

IMG_4336

 

once my kimchi was done i ate it with everything ( as pictured above on top of my lentil pommegranate salad) . Kimchi also tastes great with a simple bowl of rice, quinoa or what have you. Kimchi Good!

 

Here are a few links to a blogpost that i read about the benefits of fermented foods. Sauerkraut i am coming for you next!

 

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5711/Why-Im-Krazy-for-Kimchee.html

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14758/why-fermented-foods-are-good-for-weight-loss-mood-glowing-skin.html

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-24066/the-best-foods-supplements-for-a-healthy-gut-a-doctor-explains.html

 

 

 

 

Untraditional Versions of Hummus

Berlin is a fast growing and evolving city, and you could say I am a somewhat proud Berliner. Its been a bumpy road reconnecting with the city but I am in tune with the flow now. I have found my place here, and I am loving it. Berlin has taught me a lot, and has introduced me to so many new sounds, people and tastes. Especially tastes such as Hummus. Hummus, you good friend of mine. I dollop hummus on so many things now it’s insane. I always have a jar in the fridge for all occasions be it mixed in my veggie bowls, on my rice, in my quinoa, spread on my bread(sprinkled with pomegranate seeds nomnom) or dunking my veggies in it, I simply love it! Hummus is a good and cheap source of protein for vegans and a tablespoon goes a long way. Since it is protein rich it can curb cravings as you get satisfied and get full faster and longer. It is also very easy to prepare at home and can be made in so many different flavors. Below I share two of my favorite recipes.

IMG_1119   Idea: Hummus tastes great spread in a baked sweet potato with salad. It makes a simple but real yummy, nutritious and healthy dinner. Simply Good!

Tip: I also always buy 1kg of dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans from the various Turkish stores that exist in Berlin. This is not only better than buying a can as cans are such a waste, canned beans are also highly processed. Futhermore it is cheaper to buy beans of any kind in its dry form, as it lasts longer and is better for you and you can cook huge batches and freeze them for letter use. To prepare the beans soak them overnight.Drain the beans place in a pot fill with water so that all the beans are covered and bring water to boil, reduce the heat  and cook on low heat. Place a piece of onion in and do not salt the water yet as this slows the beans from becoming cooked through. Cook for an hour on low medium heat and spoon out the foam that may form. During the cooking process study, read do something anything don’t waste time 😀 and blame it on cooking! Once your beans are ready prepare them how you wish or freeze them for later use.  

1. Habibis Hummus

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups of cooked chickpeas

3 Tbsp. of Tahini

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

Juice of 1 lemon

2 pinches of Garam masala (or more if you like the taste)

½ cup of water

Method:

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process till smooth. *if you don’t like garam masala or don’t have any use ground cumin

2.Baba Gahummous

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups of cooked chickpeas

3 Tbsp. of Tahini

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

Juice of 1 lemon

½ cup of water

2 pinches of Garam masala (or more if you like the taste)

½ tsp of paprika powder

½ red bell pepper ½

eggplant 3 medium sized mushrooms (like locally grown brown champignons)

Method:

Rub some olive oil on the bell pepper and eggplant and chopped up mushrooms. Place everything in a preheated 175 degree Celsius oven and let it bake for about 10 minutes. Just make sure that the bell pepper and eggplant are well browned (not burnt). Add all the other ingredients in a food processor place the roasted mushrooms, eggplant and bell paper into the mix and process till creamy.