Kimchi Latkes!

Every year I choose a different culinary tradition to model our Holiday dinner around.  We’ve done Victorian England, with Roast Goose and Christmas pudding, we’ve done Shanghainese Soup Dumplings, once visiting my Sister and Brother in Law we did Puerto Rican Christmas. Bringing in these varied traditions helps to educate me as a cook and to educate my children with the many flavors of our abundant human experience. I can’t remember which year we chose to cook traditional Hanukkah treats but now Latkes always make an appearance in our home around this time of year.  So simple and so good.  And I love how the story of Hanukkah resonates especially around the time of the Winter Solstice.  As the nights get longer and the days get shorter the story of Hanukkah meditates on finding a miracle of light in the darkness and finding freedom in the midst of oppression. And of course the tradition of eating fried foods to celebrate the miraculous oil that lit a single lamp for 8 days…  a holiday that celebrates with fried food!!!!  That is a wonder for sure!

This year I can’t believe that I’ve never thought to replace the onion in the Latke recipe with kimchi before.  It is simply amazing!  You can add more spiciness, more chiles or gochugaru to the mix if you like.  I doubt you can make these and not fall in love.

Wishing you all a great miracle this Hanukkah.

 

Kimchi Latkes

2 cups shredded potatoes (I like em with skin on but either peeled or not is fine)

½ cup of kimchi that has already had all the juice squeezed out of it.

3 eggs

3 heaped Tablespoons flour

Salt and Pepper

More chiles/gochugaru (optional)

Oil for frying (we used peanut oil but your choice of high heat oil)

 

Put shredded potatoes in cheesecloth or nut bag and squeeze as dry as possible.

Cut the squeeze dried kimchi into small dice or tiny strips.

Beat eggs.

Combine potatoes, egg, kimchi, flour, (gochugaru if you want), salt and pepper.

Heat a heavy skillet with a ¼ inch of oil on the base to medium high heat.

Press heaping spoonfuls of potato mixture onto the hot skillet squashing the pancakes down to ¼ – ½ inch thickness.  Cook until brown on both sides…  approximately 3 minutes each side.

Serve hot with apple sauce and sour cream – YUM.

Booze, Bubbles, and Boshi’s. Two new Ozuké umeboshi cocktails for you to enjoy!

ozuke_ozuke_boshi

In honor of Willow and Mara’s Ume Success, here are two recipes for cocktails with their fermented fruit. The first cocktail is sweeter, and if you have the CheriBoshi, use those. If not, Umeboshi plums are fabulous.

Ozuke Boulder (as in this is not a Manhattan)

1 tsp agave or honey

3 dashes Angostura Bitters

ice

1 3/4 oz Ume Japanese Plum Sake liquor

1/4 oz Colorado bourbon whisky

1 CheriBoshi or Umeboshi

In a rocks glass, add agave, bitters and some ice.
Pour Ume Sake and whisky over ice in glass.
Drop the Umeboshi in the glass and let it absorb the booze. Eat it last.

Ozuke Royale

¾ oz Plum Wine called Ume Shu (if you can’t find it try sake)

¼  oz Luxardo

Champagne or Prosecco

In a champagne flute, pour in the plum wine and the Luxardo. Tilt and fill with Champagne. Add your ume plum or cheriboshi on top and watch it bubble.

My First Lime Pickle and Green Cabbage Kraut Recipe

Ozuké played host yesterday to an Indian ladies group.  Chani, a member of the group runs an amazing in home Montessori preschool – Radiance Montessori, my three year old Desmond goes to her school.  She has been following my pickle factory progress for the last year and asked me to host a fermentation class for her ladies group.  Her group, the Ekta Ladies are a broad background of working moms from different age, ethnic backgrounds (Sri Lankan, Indian etc.) and occupational backgrounds.  One thing in common, they were a spicy, chatty group with plenty of jolly laughter, jokes and jibes.  Most of my classes I teach a basic sauerkraut.  Kraut is really the gateway ferment, simple with a high success rate.  I went in to this class knowing that a handful of my students came from culinary backgrounds, personal chefs and restaurant owners.  And from my own experience I find that most people from a South Asian background have very sound understanding and sophisticated application in the world of spices.  Usually I have some seasonal approach to my basic kraut however this class I showed up with just green cabbage and a pantry full of spices and I put the blending of the spices up to the group.  They came up with a brown mustard seed, serrano chile and fenugreek kraut. IMG_20140323_151737 We also put together my first ever lime pickle, inspired by a recipe from my brand new and much coveted _Permaculture Book of Ferment and Human Nutrition_ by Bill Mollison which has a most impressive collection of South Asian and South East Asian fermentation techniques and recipes as well as a bevy of sound science and fascinating traditional approaches.  We topped our class off with a mango juice water kefir and all our ladies went home with three new “friends” to tend on their countertops for the next few weeks. Please sign up for our Newsletter to find out more about classes planned for this season.

Ekta Ladies Kraut Green Cabbage

3 heads Sea Salt to taste Ground Fenugreek

1 tablespoon Serrano Chiles

about 5 diced Brown Mustard Seed

2 tablespoons

Instructions: cut cabbage into thin slices, mix in large container with salt and spices.  Then pound cabbage for about 5 minutes until it starts to release lots of juice.  Pack in to jar and push down under its own liquid.  Keep in a bright, warm spot in your kitchen.  Open every two days to release gas and to push down under its own liquid again.  It should be ready in a week or two, wait til it is good and sour and smells delicious.  Then refrigerate and enjoy. IMG_20140323_152235

My First Lime Pickle adapted from Bill Mollison’s Punjab Stuffed Lime Pickle

20 Limes

2 heads of ginger diced small

5-10 serrano or thai bird chiles diced

12x 8 oz ball jars

1oz chile powder 1oz turmeric

2.5oz fenugreek powder 2.5oz salt

Lots of cold pressed sesame oil (I used far more than the recipe)

Instructions: Put limes whole into just boiled water and let sit for 20 minutes.  You will see the limes change color from bright green to olive. Mix the spices, ginger, chiles and salt.   Dry the limes and cut each lime into 8 pieces. (chunks). Toss limes, ginger, chile in spices and pack gently into jars.  Cover with sesame oil so that when you press the spiced limes down the oil comes up over the top.  Stand in the sun for 10 days.  Mollison says this will keep for about 6 months under oil.  I personally would refrigerate this and it will keep for longer and keep the sesame oil fresh from oxidation. (note to self – i might change this recipe next round and experiment with less oil…  Mollison’s recipe only calls for 2.5 oz of oil total…  I used a LOT more.  However the spiced oil is already DELICIOUS only one day later I ate it for lunch drizzled over leftover samosas, but traditionally there is a lot less oil in this pickle, I went for more oil because I felt this would give us a more reliable result keeping our pickle from oxidizing or molding from exposure to air).

Korean Kim Chi Stew: Gettin Jjigae with it.

More goodness from our favorite guest blogger, Michelle Auerbach:

Ok, so my husband seems to have had a parting of the ways with the owner of the local Korean restaurant. I don’t usually think of Korean food and fisticuffs in the same sentence, but let’s say we got awfully close.  He was defending my honor. It involved appetizers. Long story. The problem is I love Korean Food, and though the restaurant where I live is a pale imitation of Steve’s Lunch in Ann Arbor, Michigan where I cut my teeth on Bibimbop with tofu, it was what we had. Well, no longer. So I have been exploring the world of Korean food via cookbooks and the internet. This is a little recipe I cobbled together from several that involved pork and a few other things I don’t eat. It tastes like the best Korean restaurant food without the threat of violence.
800px-Korean_stew-Kimchi_jjigae-01
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • three small potatoes cubed in a large dice (You can use carrots, zucchini, and greens too if you want)
  • 2 cups kimchi (the kind made with Napa cabbage), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp kochujang (this is Korean chili paste that you can get at Asian groceries. It’s not essential, but it helps.)
  • 1 Tbsp kochukaru (this is a Korean chili flake powder. You can substitute chili flakes for it.)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 block of tofu, cubed
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  1. Saute the kimchi in the sesame oil till it smells crispy, just about three minutes.  Add the potatoes, the onion, the kochujang, kochukaru, and the soy sauce. Mix till combined.  
  2. Add the water and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the tofu. Cook until the potatoes are soft. 
  3. Serve with the scallion on top. You can serve over rice, quinoa, or just eat it with a spoon. For condiments you can use more sesame sauce, more soy sauce, or sriricha. 
 
Enjoy in the peace and comfort of your own house.

Anchovy & Pear Kimchi Burger

The perfect blend of two cultures, American and Korean. A classic American burger and a traditional Korean kimchi, with a twist.

Kimchi (or kimchee) also known as gimche is a traditional naturally fermented Korean condiment seasoned with spices and chiles. Interestingly, prior to European contact with Korea, kimchi was much simpler, consisting of cabbage and beef stock. After the chili pepper was introduced to Asia, Koreans began to use it to enhance the flavor of their national dish. In a country as diverse as Korea there are regional and seasonal variations. In northern Korea, kimchi is typically milder than its southern counterpart. Because south Korea is closer to the ocean, recipes include fish sauce or shrimp paste for seasoning and are typically spicier than the northern style. Mara has added yet another level of sophistication to our kimchi by including a touch of sweetness. She uses pears to balance out the sour flavors of fermented foods. Using daikon for bitterness, anchovies for savory, and sea salt, all 5 basic tastes are found in this delicious recipe. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADuring the growing season, the pears are sourced from Ela Family Farms in Hotchkiss, Colorado. The Ela’s have been farming mouthwatering fruits for four generations. They grow peaches, apples, pears, plums, and heirloom tomatoes on Colorado’s fertile western slope. Their land is beautiful anytime of year, but especially so during the spring when the trees are flowering.orchard w_viewMara uses the finest ingredients available, and has created another unique recipe. This is ozuké’s first non-vegan pickled thing. Ozuké’s Anchovy & Pear Kimchi is seasoned with fish sauce, which gives it that rich umami (savory) taste. Besides just eating it straight out of the jar, my family agreed that a grassfed burger was the perfect way to appreciate all those flavors quickly. Plus, it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, perfect for grilling! What follows is a food pairing idea.

Beef Burger recipe:
1 lb of ground beef 100% grassfed
Salt & pepper or WFM Rocky Mountain Pepper Blend to taste

Directions:
Prepare grill. Mix by hand ground beef and seasonings. Form patties. Grill to desired temperature. Prepare additional toppings. Assemble and eat! ground 3cooking1We decided to try different toppings with our Anchovy & Pear Burgers. Avocados on one, cheese and tomatoes on the other. All combinations were delicious. This tasty kimchi has limited availability for the time being. It is available in Boulder at Fresh Thymes Eatery, in Longmont at Lucky’s Market, in Lafayette at Isabelle Farm Stand, in Denver at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage on Leetsdale, and in Albuquerque, New Mexico at La Montanita Food Coop Valley location.

cheese2 The flavors are so perfectly balanced that it makes a great companion to almost any dinner. Pick up a jar to bring to your Hanukkah celebration and Thanksgiving dinner. And let us know what you think. Gobble Gobble!jar (10)

Jook

secondjook

Our recent trip to Honolulu found Desmond, my four and a half month old son ready for food.  He was so absorbed in what everyone else was eating, no wonder, our family reunions are serious food experiences.  My Grandfather’s 95th birthday celebration brought Wong family relations together from all over the globe.  Large round tables of raucous conversation and group cheers for each new course as it was brought to the table, all this focus on community and flavor my baby boy started yelling for attention.  I think once you discover how great eating is it’s hard to just watch from the sidelines.  He would literally holler until someone put something in his mouth.  Little man doesn’t have any teeth yet and most of what the grownups were eating was too rich, greasy and/or chewy for a brand new eater to handle. Good thing almost every Chinese restaurant has some Jook bubbling away somewhere in the house.  Jook is a thin rice porridge that is often served with peanuts and shavings of sweet pork jerky on top. (I would much prefer to have Porkfloss on top of jook than these doughnuts I found on an incredulous expatriate’s indiosyncratic Mainland China blog.)

porkfloss on doughnuts?!

It has long been used as a food for infants and convalescent adults and is pretty much ubiquitous throughout Asia.  Known as congee in India and Cambodia, as Jook in South East Asia and Korea, and Zhou in Putonghua speaking China.  Common ingredients mixed in this simple rice and water porridge include lean pork and preserved duck egg, chicken, squid, kimchi, green onions, ginger and just plain for little ones or for troubled digestion.

I used the opportunity of having so many aunties in one place to ask for tips on how to make the perfect Jook.  My attempts at home seemed to differ quite dramatically from the smooth perfectly seasoned offerings one finds in restaurants.  It takes a little bit of practice and filtering to understand what five sisters have to say across an enormous table speaking in very close and overlapping proximity and cancelling one another out with volume and hand gestures.  It’s always a good time watching my mom and her brothers and sisters in action. I imagine all nine of them as young adults, calling on one another (unabashedly) to pull their own weight and heartily creating fun at every given opportunity. Gravesweeping is a common family gathering.  Food and drink are put out for the hungry ghosts and the general area is cleaned up, weeded and tidied.  Our family doesn’t just light incense, we take our expression to a whole new level – Auntie Lo did an interpretive dance on my Grandmother’s grave (she studies ballroom dance) and Uncle Tony put a lit cigarette in the ground near the headstone. My grandmother was pretty much pregnant between the ages of nineteen and thirty three, you’ve got to figure that she was always alive to the possibility to have a little party whenever she could.

So what I could discern from the kerfuffle that followed my question – great jook can be made following these guidelines.  Mix a little salt and oil with your rice.  Add 12 cups of water per one cup of rice.  Restaurants and Jook Joints use broken rice for a finer texture, one can always duplicate this by running rice through a food processor very quickly before use. Add rice, oil, salt mix to already boiling water.  Cook as slowly as possible.  Use broth for a deeper flavor or when making chicken or turkey jook.

I added some Konbu (kelp) to my version for extra mineral goodness, and a teaspoon of flax seed for some of those good omega fatty acids.  I also used the crock pot to make the whole endeavor easier than pie.

Dessie’s Chow

FEED ME!

1 cup Brown Rice; 12 cups Water; piece of konbu rinsed in the sink; 2 tsp Ghee; 1/2 tsp Sea Salt; 1 tsp flax seeds.

Mix all ingredients except water, add water.  Put on High in crockpot til bubbling (1hr) then turn down to low.  Let it go for at least 4 hours.  I let it cook overnight.  Salt to taste.

Some great serving suggestions…  chopped up leftover meats.  Zuké :), furikake (seaweed, salt and sesame seeds), you can even make a sweet cereal by adding dried fruit, cinnamon and maple syrup.

Come Thanksgiving I assure you this is what I’ll be doing with the leftovers, boiling turkey carcass broth then making some slowcooked brown rice goodness.  Sleepytime happy turkey triptomine jook has got my name all over it.