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.

20 questions with The Rawsome Vegan Gal

Mindy Goldis AKA The Rawsome Vegan Gal sat us down and got the nitty gritty on what life is really like at Ozuké, the best pickled things. Hop on over to her site to find out what really makes us tick. While your at it, watch her glowing youtube review of our products here:

The Pickler

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Erin Loechner for Clementine Daily’s “Inspired Interviews”. Check out the interview below and read even more interviews with amazing modern women.
Image Credit:
Image c/o Kassia Binkowski

It’s one thing to concoct a new favorite recipe in your kitchen, but it’s something entirely different to build a business around those ingredients. Meet Willow King, co-founder and CEO of Ozuké – the gal who did just that. In an effort to provide good quality nutrition for her children, she and a girlfriend refined a recipe for pickled foods to create Ozuké – the latest organic food brand making its way on to tables across the country. Equal parts mother to two sweet boys, business owner, and farmer’s market purveyor, Willow’s life exists somewhere between the down home living and cut throat entrepreneurialism that define Boulder, CO. From her sweet definition of success to her admirable work ethic, she may just be one of the most authentic fermentos we’ve ever met!

Read her inspired conversation with creative director Kassia Binkowski:

Where do we start? With connections to the local food movement, organic agriculture and physical health, you’ve been able to build so many dimensions of personal and social wellbeing into Ozuké’s business model. What did your path from a wholesome meal to a socially responsible business look like – and what sustains you to keep it growing?

Well, I would not say that it was a straight and narrow path. Loving food and food culture was certainly the seed for starting this business but I have had to learn many things along the way. There are so many pieces to running a business. Financials and accounting, tax law and incorporation status, marketing, logistics, certifications – you get my drift. The learning curve has been steep, but it has been great to add things to my toolbox and there are so many rewards. I love seeing the pigs from a local farmer gobble up our compost, I love the pickle jokes and jovial vibe of our staff in the kitchen, I love knowing that the food we make supports organic farmers and in some small way helps back that movement in this country. I love hearing from people that the food we make helps them feel healthy and good. I love the slow food, slow money, slow ferment ethos that we have grown our business with: linking the pleasure of good food with commitment to the community and the environment.

Let’s talk about that “we”. Your business partner is a professional chef and expert fermento (chef of pickled foods), but she also happens to be a close friend. How have you balanced being business partners and friends?

It’s true – I have an awesome partner, which has made a big difference for me. Mara and I have the same last name – which is just a coincidence, but we joke that we really are married now. She and I have spent many hours bouncing ideas back and forth, scratching our heads and encouraging each other when the paperwork, accounting or logistics felt overwhelming. We share the ups and downs of having a business and it can get very stressful at times. I think our history really helps us out – we have seen each other through many phases of life, which gives us perspective.

No question that you two make a great team! Ozuké is a huge success, being sold from farmers markets to Whole Foods across the western United States. We’d certainly say that you’ve made it, but was there a moment for you when you felt like you “made it?”

To be honest, I think I am still waiting for that moment. There are always so many moving pieces to a business that I never feel like it’s all sorted, but we have had triumphant moments. For us, success is really having a thriving culture around our business – people we love working with, farmers whom we support and who support us, and a platform to talk about health and nutrition on a larger scale.

Speaking of that platform, you built your business in Boulder, CO which is one of the nation’s hot spots for natural food start ups. How has geography influenced your professional pursuits?

We really do live in a very supportive community – both for food and for entrepreneurship, which is a huge factor in the successful growth of our business. From day one we have had so many people offer to support us with knowledge, networking, investment and business acumen – many of whom have grown natural food brands in the past. We realize how fortunate we are and try to support new businesses in whatever way we can as we know what a helping hand can do early on. In the end it really is about who we are surrounded by and how we relate. It takes a very diverse group of people to make something a success and we have reached out many times to members of the community to answer questions about technical issues, distribution, sales, food safety. It really does take a village.

It’s amazing to see how far you’ve come since those early days, and now it’s safe to say that the benefits of pickled food are as diverse as your skill sets as a successful entrepreneur. With so much new research coming out about the benefits and consequences of different diets and food groups, how can young women navigate the endless aisles of information to make the best decisions for their health?

I really think simple is best. It’s true that there are so many fads, diets, trends and shifting tides that it can be hard to keep up – but in the end I believe it is about clean, nourishing foods, drinking lots of pure water, getting outdoors and pumping your heart, laughter, rest and breath. The rest is just frills.

Despite your no-frills ethos, you’ve lived a life packed with adventure. Before co-founding Ozuké you traveled the world working for international organizations. How do you balance your sense of adventure with your desire to put down roots for your family?

It has been a bit of a push-me-pull-you as far as laying down roots goes – I’m the mother of two boys and can’t resist the character reference to Dr. Dolittle! But it’s true. After my first son was born we moved to Asia for a teaching stint. It was such a rich time for me – wandering the streets of Ho Chi Minh City with my little son, taking in the smells, sounds and tastes of the markets. It was wonderful but I could also feel a new desire to be closer to the source of my food, my water, my community and my family. We continued moving about until after my second child was born and then we moved back to Boulder, at which point it felt like time to dig in and do something that could work with family life and still have branches. It is a juggling act and we would certainly like to spend time abroad again but for now we are super happy to be elbow-deep in cabbage here at home.

Tell us more about that jugging act. On any given day you’re a mother, wife, business owner, taste tester, marketer, and sales manager just to name a few. What habits have you built into your daily routine to keep you feeling healthy?

Some days are better than others. I work odd hours sometimes – very early or very late so I can have down time and meal times with my family. I need yoga, I need good novels to disappear into and after that it’s just pedal to the metal.

Speaking of pedal to the metal, I can’t imagine how much you’ve learned building a business in an industry that is evolving so quickly. What have you learned about yourself on that journey?

What a good question. I have learned that nothing I do happens without the support of a whole web of good people. I have learned that doing something the right way does not always make it the most sensible, profitable or practical, but it is worth it. I have learned that I love old farmers and the vernacular of the earth and above all I have learned that letting go can be just as difficult as holding tight to one idea – and often has a far better outcome.

Alright, we have to ask – if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Warm bread with really good butter!

p.s. Want to hear from another entrepreneur changing her world with food? Meet the baker.

Cocktail Time

Bloody Mary
via Michelle Auerbach
My friend Jen is known for many things, including her enormous hospitality. When she invites you for Sunday Brunch (and often at other times) she will have a pitcher of Bloody Mary’s waiting. Hers just taste better than anyone else’s and finally this winter I found out why. Pickle juice.  Or when she is out of pickles, Kimchi juice. This twist gives a probiotic lift to an otherwise not so healthy drink, but it also adds a zing that is hard to define. It’s just good.
1 jigger vodka
1/2 teaspoon horseradish
2 shakes Worchershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
2 Tablespoons pickle juice
1 shake Tabasco
a few grinds of black pepper
6 ounces tomato juice, no salt
Squeeze 1/4 lemon
Celery stick for garnish
Over ice
This makes one drink. You can make it by the pitcherful and then you season by taste. Hotter if you want it, more pickle juice if you want it.  All you need to do is mix all the ingredients in the glass or pitcher and serve.
Now be careful. It tastes so good that large adult men have needed designated drivers home from brunch. So either don’t make plans, or sip slowly.

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.
  • 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.

Pad Thai w/Kale & Collards Kimchi

I’ve heard that Pad Thai (stir-fried rice noodles Thai-style), the sweet and savory dish many Americans think of as a Thai staple, is not easily found in restaurants in Thailand. It is commonly prepared by street vendors (video), and is apparently rather ubiquitous in touristy areas. Well, I hope some day to be able to find out for myself. In the meantime, I prepare it at home, and can make a pretty good version thanks to Robert Danhi.  Robert is a talented American chef who specializes in southeast Asian cooking. His book, ‘Southeast Asian Flavors‘ has won several awards. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to watch Robert prepare Pad Thai, and was careful to take lots of notes.

Pad Thai Ingredients:
1/2 lb Dried flat Thai noodles
1/4 Cup Red Boat fish sauce
2 TBS Tamarind pulp
1/4 Cup palm sugar
2-3 Dried roasted chilies, ground
2 TBS vegetable oil
1 TBS shallots, minced
1 TBS garlic, diced
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
1 TBS dried shrimp, chopped
3/4 Cup pressed tofu or chicken or protein, sliced into strips
1 TBS Pickled radish (daikon), chopped
1 Cup scallions (greens only), sliced diagonally
2 Cups mung bean sprouts
1/2 Cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
Ozuké Kale & Collards Kimchi
Water as needed
Instruction #1
– Purchase excellent ingredients
Each ingredient is essential, and most important are those in the special sauce! They create the tasty balance between sweet and sour, and are the foundation of Pad Thai. Where does the sour flavor come from? It comes from the tamarind fruit.  I was able to find pure tamarind pulp (nothing added), and “seedless”. When I opened the bag, I found delicious pulp AND a gazillion seeds. Because of those seeds, preparing the tamarind pulp for the recipe took a bit more time than I had thought it would, but it was well worth it!

Where does the sweet come from? It comes from thick, rich palm sugar. Palm sugar is available in different forms. Because the paste dissolves more easily than discs, I prefer the paste.

Instruction #2 – Prepare all your ingredients before cooking
Begin by making tamarind paste for special sauce. Pad Thai1-001To prepare the paste, break off a piece of the gooey tamarind, and mix with water. Use fingers to massage the pulp, removing seeds and any other plant material. Add more water if needed. Place tamarind pulp through a fine mesh strainer. Using a spoon, push through strainer, and scrape the bottom to collect the tamarind paste.
Pad Thai2Add the palm sugar to the prepared tamarind paste, blend thoroughly. Then add fish sauce and chili flakes, whisk. Set sauce aside, and prepare other ingredients for deliciousness! making tamarind tamarind chiliNoodles next – soak noodles in room temp water for 25 minutes. Drain noodles, and set aside. DSC_0124While noodles are soaking prepare other ingredients – pan roasted peanuts (chopped), lightly roasted Thai chilies (ground), scallions (sliced), radish (chopped), shrimp (chopped), tofu (sliced), eggs (lightly beaten). Set up your cooking station – mise en place. prepped ingredientsInstruction #3 – Cook Pad Thai
Heat pan on medium-high, once hot, add oil & garlic. Cook until edges are lightly brown. Push garlic to side of pan, add beaten eggs, and scramble. Keep garlic off to side. Add tofu, shrimp and radish. Mix it all together.   Pad Thaieggs ingredientsOnce mixed, add noodles, 2/3 of the special sauce, and some water. Toss well. Noodles mixedpouring sauceContinue tossing until noodles are soft, but not mushy. Add water (for cooking) and more sauce (for flavor) as needed. Be sure to add water in small amounts to prevent noodles from getting soggy. Continue tossing.  Once noodles are cooked, chewy NOT soggy, add most of the scallions, peanuts, and bean sprouts, reserving some for garnish. Mix well.  above pad thai-001Instruction #4 – Eat
Serve and garnish with more peanuts, bean sprouts, scallions, and Ozuké Kale & Collards Kimchi – Voilậ! Pad Thai that is great tasting and good for your gut, too! And perhaps the best part, you too can watch Robert prepare this recipe in his Thai Cooking Essentials class available at

gin hâi à-ròi (Enjoy your meal)!

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

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)

Leftover Rice? Quick and Easy Kimchi Fried Rice


Blog post by our blogoddess, Michelle Auerbach.

This is perfect for when you have left-over rice and a jar of Ozuké Kimchi, the napa and garlic kind. It’s now really winter out there, and something hot and spicy and a little oily will warm you up right away. Plus, it is fast and can be made with any of the proteins listed, so it’s flexible. The recipe is very loosely adapted from Quick And Easy Korean Cooking by Cecelia Hae-Jin Lee.

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil (sesame is good, as is coconut)

1 onion, chopped

4 oz of chopped pork loin, 1 package of tofu cubed, or 2 eggs

1 more Tablespoon vegetable oil (or more if you need for sticking)

3 cups of cooked rice (brown, white, whatever you have)

2 green onions, chopped

1 cup kimchi with a lot of kimchi liquid

Salt to taste

Heat the oil (depending on the protein, you may need more than one Tablespoon – tofu does not give off it’s own fat). Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add protein. If you are using pork or tofu, fry it for about 5-8 minutes, until cooked through, and for tofu a little golden. If you are using eggs, scramble the eggs.

Add more oil and then the rice, green onion, kimchi and kimchi liquid and cook until it is all warmed through. Salt to taste and serve hot in bowls. Eat with your fingers wrapped around the bowl and maybe some extra kimchi or chili-garlic sauce for the top.


Green pozole topped with kim chi

I just returned from a great trip to New Mexico and as always I vowed to eat green chile on everything and wear more big hats and cowboys boots. So far, none of those have been happening- but I was inspired to make some posole for dinner and top it with our zuké kim chi.

I adapted this recipe from Rancho Gordo:

Pozole Verde

1/4 pound Rancho Gordo posole (whole dried hominy)

1 1/2 onions, white or red, peeled and halved


4 garlic cloves, peeled

15 to 20 tomatillos, paper skins removed ( I used some canned ones from this summer)

2 poblano chiles

1 serrano chile

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano

1 1/2 quarts vegetable or chicken broth

Freshly ground black pepper


Soak posole overnight in water to cover generously. Drain.

Place it in a saucepan with fresh water to cover generously.

Add 1/2 onion, bring to a simmer, cover partially and cook at a gentle simmer until the corn kernels are tender, 2 to 3 hours; many will split open. Season with salt and cool in the liquid.

On a hot, dry griddle or skillet, roast the remaining halved onions, garlic, tomatillos and chiles, turning occasionally, until they are charred and slightly softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Work in batches if necessary.

Put the roasted poblano chiles in a paper bag to steam until cool.

Transfer the other vegetables to a bowl and let cool, collecting their juices.

Skin the poblanos, discarding seeds and stems. Discard the serrano chile stem but don’t skin or seed.

Put all the roasted vegetables in a blender, in batches if necessary, and puree until smooth.

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over moderate heat.

Add the vegetable puree and adjust heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes to blend the flavors.

In the blender, puree the cilantro, oregano and 1 cup of the broth. Add to the vegetable mixture along with 4 cups additional broth.

Drain the posole and add it to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and return to a simmer. Thin with additional broth if necessary. Serve in warm bowls.

Top with kim chi.


Serves 6

Kimchi Curry

I love how necessity is often the source of inspiration.  This idiom is more than often the case for me when I’m doing my nightly conjuration of dinner.  Sometimes it’s more “what’s there” than “what do I want”.

Tonight I was ahead of the game.  I wanted to get Halloween dinner done early.  I’d been eyeing the chickpeas I cooked off yesterday and I knew they couldn’t be hummus…  I am out of garlic and there was definitely no time to go to the store.  So Channa Masala they became.  I went with a roasted tomato and heavy cream curry sauce – perfect.  When I came to put the coconut chicken curry together I found myself in a bind.  NO ONIONS!  I used the last onion in the chickpea curry.  HOW DO YOU COOK A CURRY WITH NO ONIONS!?!  Sometimes I stare in the fridge for inspiration…  “what do I have that has garlic, onions and ginger already in it???  (as well as shallots and four kinds of chilli peppers???)  KIMCHI COCO-CURRY was born tonight.  It is SO good.  I usually rarely use that many caps in one paragraph but here let’s just imagine a Japanese television host yelling dramatically and many neon lights flashing.

Well we are pulling the costumes together so I’ll leave you with the recipe…  I think I need a little bit of purple lipstick to finish my hipster witch outfit 😀

would you take cooking tips from this mug?

Kimchi Coco Curry

1 Jar Kimchi

1lb Chicken Tenders cut into chunks

2 Tbs Coconut Oil

1/2 tsp Turmeric, 1/4 tsp Nutritional Yeast, 1/4 tsp Cumin, 1/4 tsp Garam Masala, 1/4 tsp whole Peppercorns, 1/4 tsp Paprika

1 Jar Coconut Milk

6 new potatoes

settle new potatoes to boil in some water and salt, turn down to a simmer.

melt coconut oil in pan and throw in a whole jar of kimchi….  as you stirfry the kimchi start to add spices, turmeric, yeast, cumin, garam masala, peppercorns and paprika.

when you’ve got a nice hot mess add the chicken and brown on all sides.  (approx 5 minutes on medium high)

add coconut milk, bring to a boil then simmer.

add potatoes when they are soft.

serve over rice you could garnish with a wee bit of fresh corriander that would just take it over the top.  ENJOY!