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.

Chef D’s Fantastic Raw Pizza

Daniel Asher, Executive Chef over at Root Down and Linger is a masterful raw foods chef.  A great showcase of his skills are the Raw night that he hosts on the first Tuesday of every month over at the Highland’s Root Down location.

Example of Raw Night menu.

Chef Daniel recently appeared Fox’s Everyday show with a raw pizza recipe featuring our Kale and Collard Greens flavor of ozuké goodness.


Here is the recipe in its entirety – note that there are parts of this recipe that could be deconstructed with delicious results (i.e. I’m going to put that cashew chevre on EVERYTHING!)

Many thanks to Chef Daniel who shared the above video and following recipe with us and who promotes ozuké’s efforts wherever he goes. <3

Mushroom & Kale KimChi Pizza with Sunflower Arugula Pesto, Cashew Chèvre & Almond Date Crust
1C raw Almond meal
2 medjool dates, chopped
3 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/4C olive oil
1/4C flax meal
1 Tblsp Hemp Hearts (a brand of ground, ready to eat, raw hemp seeds)
1 Tblsp Sesame seeds
1 scallion, chopped
pinch oregano
pinch sea salt
Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until “dough” forms. Remove from machine and form into a round pizza crust.
Can be used as-is OR dehydrate at 115 for 8 hours for a cracker style crust
Sunflower Arugula Pesto:
1C raw sunflower seeds
1/4C raw tahini
1/2C olive oil or grape seed oil
juice of 1 medium lemon
1 clove garlic
1 small shallot
1/2C loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/2C arugula leaves
sea salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in high-powered blender and cycle until smooth puree texture is achieved. Additional oil may be needed to reach desired consistency.
Cashew Chèvre
3/4C raw cashews, covered in 2C filtered water & soaked overnight at room temperature
2 Tbslp lemon juice
1 Tblsp nutritional yeast
1 Tblsp gf tamari
salt & cracked black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients high powered blender and pulse until ‘goat cheese’ texture. add some of the cashew soaking liquid as needed.
-sliced cremini mushrooms, lightly tossed with gf tamari & sesame oil
-Ozuke collard & kale kimchi, drained
-baby heirloom tomatoes, halved, lightly tossed with olive oil & sea salt
-watercress leaves
-microgreens or chopped herbs (dill, cilantro, tarragon, chive) as desired
To Finish:
-spread crust with pesto sauce
-arrange toppings (mushrooms, tomatoes, kimchi) on top of pesto as desired
-finish with dollops of chèvre, watercress & herbs
-cut into slices and serve!
Bon Apetit!

Tasty Cleanse, Nourished Body

Guest blog by our beloved Mignon Macias:

I love connecting with people and sharing sincere enthusiasm for current passions. It’s exciting and inspiring. The other day I re-connected with Nicole T. after having not seen her for at least 2 years. Immediately we shared our smartphone snapshots, and exchanged tidbits about our lives that a quick catch-me-up session in a grocery store aisle permits. Within minutes, we realized that there was a reason for our running into each other. As Nicole pointed out, ‘ all things happen for a reason’.

Nicole had just begun a cleanse, and I was there to share with her the benefits of delicious naturally fermented foods from zuke pickled things. Everyday, but especially during a cleanse, fermented foods will improve gut flora which can boost overall health and improve digestion. This age-old process makes nutrients more readily available for absorption and enhances food flavors.

photos by Sugarcurse

Delicious flavors and inventive food combinations are what inspire the creators of Zuke pickled things, Mara and Willow King.  Their citrus ginger blend is a tangy addition to any salad, or as a condiment for fish or shrimp tacos, grilled meats, and steamy risotto. The fresh, organic ingredients (green cabbage, ginger, lemon zest, lemon juice, & sea salt) combined with the high level of lactobacilli in each jar, makes for a mouth watering treat that is rewarding and satisfying. A cleanse becomes more like a celebration, rather than deprivation.

Recently, as a modern culture, we have been re-discovering this traditional process of preserving foods with lactic acid fermentation. Nourished Kitchen explains well the benefits of eating fermented foods, and also shares amazing whole food recipes.

For a simple, quick, nutrient dense dish try this salad as a light meal, or as a side dish.

Swiss chard (thinly sliced)

Purple or lance shaped kale (thinly sliced)
Shredded golden beets
citrus ginger pickled things

Slivered almonds
Chopped pears
Olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste


In addition to its amazing flavor, citrus ginger pickled things is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals. Cabbage and lemons are rich in vitamin C, which help the body resist infectious agents. Lemon peel (zest) is high in potassium and calcium. Potassium plays a role in maintaining your heart function, and aiding in digestive capabilities.  Calcium is important for maintaining bones and teeth. It also plays a role in heart rhythm and muscle function. Sea salt is naturally rich in trace minerals, essential for many metabolic functions. And ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body. It can also help with nausea, and aids in digestion.

It’s true, as Nicole said, all things DO happen for a reason. I thank you for your excitement and support. Here’s to a tasty cleanse and a nourished body!

Please send your favorite recipe ideas for our citrus ginger pickled things. We would like to share them.


A word about brussels sprouts and salt

Not only do brussels sprouts come on a stalk that inspires the imagination and look like teeny tiny cabbages but they also contain many of the good things that are found in other members of the Brassicaceae family. Yes, we have pickled them (Mara made a wonderful, very spicy brussels kim chi last winter) but tonight they were cooked in brown butter and yakima applewood smoked salt. My eldest son peeled them leaf by leaf and ate them like Peter Rabbit.


These veggies are enjoying a sort of hip revival lately and I would venture a guess that they will be on many holiday tables. Try them boiled in dark beer or crispy fried in  a little grapeseed oil or ghee. Happy almost Thanksgiving y’all.



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


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.

Haute Brats


Today was just one of those days. Locked the keys in the car etc. etc.  There was work and school and soccer and by the time we got to dinner we wanted it FAST. So: Brats (if you are brave enough to make your own, here is a little tutorial) buns, our Ozuké dill,caraway and fennel kraut, some pickled peppers, mustard and done. Dinner was a hit, the probiotics even out the white buns and everybody goes to bed full and happy. You can make your own mustard too- fun and easy (on a day when you don’t have much else going on.)
Homemade mustard:
* 1/4 cup yellow mustard seed
* 2 Tbsp. black or brown mustard seed, heaping
* 1/4 cup dry mustard powder
* 1/2 cup water
* 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
* 1 small onion chopped
* 1 tsp. salt
* 2 garlic gloves, minced or pressed
* 1/4 tsp. ground allspice (optional)
* 1/4 tsp. dried tarragon leaves
* 1/8 tsp. turmeric

In a small bowl, combine mustard seed and dry mustard. In a 1- to 2-quart stainless steel or nonreactive saucepan, combine remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, on medium heat until reduced by half, 10-15 minutes. Pour the mixture into the mustard mixture. Let mixture stand, covered, at room temperature for 24 hours, adding additional vinegar if necessary in order to maintain enough liquid to cover seeds. Process the seeds and mixture in a blender or food processor until pureed to the texture you like –this can take at least 3 or 4 minutes. Some prefer whole seeds remaining, others a smooth paste. The mixture will continue to thicken. If it gets too thick after a few days, stir in additional vinegar. Scrape mustard into clean, dry jars; cover tightly and age at least 3 days in the refrigerator before using.
Makes about 1 1/2 -2 cups.