Saturday, 14 July 2012

Cooking with homemade kimchi

Last Saturday I made kimchi for the first time. With one week of fermentation my kimchi looks like this.

It's much softer in texture now and skloopier. It tastes pretty good, but not as strongly flavoured or chillied as the kimchi I have eaten before and I like. I suspect that is becasue it has sat for longer.  I am prepared to sit mine for longer but I also want to use some now.

I  found a recipe for kimchi pancakes which became dinner. The recipe comes from my recently purchased Gourmet Traveller - Asian Favourites Cookbook, page18. It has blue swimmer crab meat in it, but I used prawns. I can't be bothered with extracting crab meat and I like the taste of prawns much better as well. 

The recipe required some specific ingredients, I hope I bought the right things. As well as kimchi , it needs split mung beans and gochunjiang a fermented  Korean chilli paste.  It is strange becasue 'jiang' means 'sauce'  in Chinese (maybe it does in Korean as well?).

Here are the mung beans I bought  from the local Asian grocer -  I hope I bought the right thing, I think I did.

And here is the Korean fermented chilli paste. It comes in a cute little plastic box which I am sure I will re-use for something. There is a hell of a lot of it, but being a chilli fancier I am sure I will get thru it somehow. It's really yummy, thick, dark red and gooey like a thick jam.

Kimchi pancakes (* from the garden)

400 gm dried, split, shelled mung beans, soaked in cold water for 4 hours and 
2 tablespoons chicken stock ( I used quite a bit more than this)
200 gm cabbage kimchi, squeezed to remove the moisture, chop finely
2 spring onions *
1/4 cup of coriander finely chopped
2 tablespoons gochunjiang
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 garlic clove crushed (I used 2 as the kimchi isn't very garlic flavoured)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
250 gm prawn meat cut into small pieces
vegetable oil for frying

Steam mung beans for 15 mins in a strainer over a pot of water. I needed to do this in two batches.

Place in a food processor and blend with the chicken stock until finely ground. I found I needed more fluid than suggested in the recipe. Place in a bowl and mix with all other ingredients. Shape mixture into patties 1 cm thick. Heat oil and shallow fry, cleaning the pan between batches. The recipe says this makes two pancakes, but they would be very large and a little hard to handle.  Instead I made pattie sized ones and 12 of them. Here is one before cooking that I squashed down when in the pan.

The recipe has lots of Korean accompaniments to go with this.  I had it with some steamed snow peas from the patch. You can see that the patties are a bit sloppy.  They held their shape before cooking but in the pan they seemed to sag.  I suspect it might be becasue I added a little extra fluid, but that  was  becasue I couldn't get the mixture to move in the food processor without it.

But how did it taste?  Just fabulous! I really like these -  not too beany, not too kimchi, not too chilli. I have a little stash now in the fridge and might leave them uncovered in the fridge so they dry out a little.

I would make it again definitely and next time I will try to solve the sloppiness problem and make the other accompaniments, though they are really nice with some steamed snowpeas -  something simple.


  1. I WANT cabbage NOW! This looks great, apologies for shouting but patience really isn't my thing, neither is Essendon won and I'm going out tonight so the world is good...

    1. Yes, that was an excellent flogging of Port! I don't mind your enthusiasm/ impatience. Honestly, despite the look of them being below par, these are excellent and well worth waiting a week for whilst curing the kimchi. Hope the night out was good.

  2. Mmm, I want that kimchi so bad! I love Korean food, it is light yet filling... great job! :)

    1. Oh, thank you! I so enjoyed these pancakes and the kimchi.

  3. Ok, well now I'm really going to try your kimchi recipe. I've bought the ginger, and now I'm going to let myself loose on the wombok patch :) That Korean chilli paste is amazing...

    1. And to compare, I am going to try your method as well. I love this Korean chilli paste. I could just eat it off the spoon!

  4. I'm just looking over your recipe again and wondering about it. 3-5 days in the fridge seems really too short to achieve any significant fermentation. If I kept cabbage in the fridge for that long I wouldn't expect it to ferment at all. My feeling is that you may need to leave it at room temperature for a couple of days at least to kick start the souring process.
    Do try my method, but taste the brine before adding the cabbage. It shouldn't be excessively salty like mine was.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, very helpful. I too thought the time too short and in fact it was (is). It has taken quite some time for it to get that sourness as you so aptly put it. It is still getting there, but it is also still good...

      I like the idea of starting it out of the fridge, I will try that next time. And I will also see how this one keeps developing, it's a bit of an ongoing experiment.

      Thanks for your tip on reducing the saltiness of your recipe.



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