Water kimchi

Fresh and crispy kimchi in a mild broth.


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In Korean cuisine there are many different kinds of kimchi. One of the types or styles of kimchi is called water kimchi, mul kimchi in Korean(동치미. This type of kimchi is milder and not made with any seafood flavouring. Water kimchi can also be made with many different vegetables, but this one is what I know best. This kimchi was served at my favorite lunch place when I lived in Pusan South Korea. They served a quartered napa cabbage in its brine and then they cut it up in to smaller pieces with a pair of scissors at the table.

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In this recipe I used regular radish instead of daikon and a firm crunchy pear instead of asian pear. The neighbourhood store does not have these two Items in stock, Besides the pink skin of the radish gives the brine a nice color.
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INGREDIENTS

Brine

5 cups water
1 Tbsp coarse salt
1 tsp white sugar
1 Tbsp gochugaru, red pepper flakes, you can skip this ingredients.

Vegetables

2 napa cabbage quartered
2 Tbsp coarse salt

Seasoning

10 red radishes
1 asian pear (2 cups), cut into cubes
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 inch ginger, thinly sliced
3 scallions, cut into 5 cm sticks
2 chili pepper, thinly sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

Quarter  napa cabbage  and place in bowl cut side up.
Sprinkle 2 Tbsp salt and let sit for 30 minutes

In the mean time, make the brine by mixing salt and sugar in water and mix to dissolve. Then add gochugaru and let sit for at least 15 minutes.

Cut remaining seasoning vegetables and fruit and combine together in large bowl.

Squeeze excess water from cabbage but DO NOT rinse. Then combine with seasoning vegetables.

Place into air tight container

You can strain gochugaru/chili flakes from the brine or leave it in,  pour the liquid over the vegetables

Seal air tight and let sit in room temperature for 1-2 days for fermentation

Transfer into refrigerator and enjoy for up to one month

We enjoyed this for lunch with korean style meat patty and a few extra side dishes.

 

Tzatziki

Tzatziki a classic Greek appetizer or meze made from thick strained yogurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, and fresh dill. It’s super simple to make and it goes well as a dip with vegetables, chips and different dishes.

½ a large cucumber, unpeeled

1½ cups plain full-fat Greek yogurt

2 large garlic cloves, finely minced

1 tbsp chopped fresh dill

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon white vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

Grate the cucumber, sprinkle it with salt, then place the shreds in a fine mesh strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Let stand for at least 10 minutes to drain any remaining water. Squeeze once more to drain.

Mix cucumbewith the rest of the ingredients and let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two before serving.

Har Gow, Crystal Skin Shrimp Dumplings

Stretchy translucent dough filled with plump moist chunks of shrimps, this might be the most popular dim sum dumpling.

The filling for har gow is very straightforward, shrimp and pork fat, but for these that I have made, I have used an egg white instead of pork fat. I was also out of bamboo shoots, so I used water chestnuts instead.

Har gow 1 agj

Filling

300 g raw shrimps or prawns

2 tbsp finely chopped bamboo shoots
 or water chestnuts

1 tsp soy sauce


1 tsp Shaoxing wine or dry sherry

1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil


1 stalk scallion

1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp cornstarch


1/2 egg white

1/4 tsp ground white pepper


Mix the filling ingredients together and let stand on the counter while you make the dough.

Har gow 3 agjWrappers

1 1/4 cup  wheat starch (not flour)

1/4 cup tapioca starch

1 cup boiling water


1 tbsp lard or neutral oil( I used oil)

Har gow 4 agj

Combine wheat starch and tapioca starch n a medium bowl, pour in the boiling water and add the lard while mixing in one direction with a spoon or dowel.

While it’s hot, knead the dough for about 5 minutes or until smooth but firm. If the dough is too sticky add a bit more wheat starch.

When done the dough should be soft and not sticky.

Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and roll each section into an 8-inch-long sausage. Place dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, so it won’t dry out.

Har gow 5 agjCut the dough again in 8 equal parts. Place a piece of dough between two small pieces of parchment and flatten with the backside of a heavy clever or underside of a pan. Then, using a dumpling dowel or a small rolling-pin, start to roll from the center out, until you get a 3 to 4 inches disc in diameter and betweet 1/16 to 1/8-inch thick . Place the finished wrappers back in a plate and cover until you finish rolling out the remaining dough.

The thinner you roll the dough the more translucent it will be.

Har gow 7 agj

 

Filling the wrapper

Pleat one edge of the wrapper and make it into a cup.

Drop a teaspoon of filling into the center of the wrapper, try not to get filling on the outside edge, press together the smooth and pleated sides to lock in the filling.

Place dumplings in a steamer, cook on a wok or a pot over full steam. Steam over high heat for 8-10 minutes.

Serve and enjoy with a dipping sauce and remember that the dumplings can be scalding hot right away.

The best part with these dumlings besides the taste, they did not stick to the steamer 🙂

Dumpling sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup rice vinegar

2 cloves of finely chopped garlic

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 stalk of scallion, chopped

Har gow 6

 

 

Refried beans

This is absolutely a must when eating Tex-Mex for dinner
Refried beans are Mexico’s equivalent to mashed potatoes and it is made of pinto beans.
The actual name is frijoles refritos meaning well fried beans. The Anglo name suggests that these beans are fried, but that’s not the case.
There are many different ways to make refried beans and you can use most kinds of beans, but in traditional Tex-Mex pinto beans are used.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2  large finely chopped onion
1 clove crushed garlic
800 g of cooked pinto beans or the kind you want to use.
1 teaspoon chili powder, may be omitted
1 dl vegetable stock / 1 cup water plus 1/2 vegetable bouillon cube
Salt and pepper as desired.
Saute the onions in oil on medium heat until it is tender and add the garlic and chili powder.
crush this in a blender with the liquid.
Pour this back into the saucepan and add the beans and boil until the beans are warmed through. about 5 minutes.
Mash beans with a spoon, salt and pepper as desired.
You can also add chopped fresh coriander if you desire.
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Serve this bean puree with your favorite Tex-Mex, taco, burito, Chimmichanga, tostada, quesedilla etc.

Brown butter with a drizzle of ground dried chanterelles

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Have you ever tried to make brown butter? Inspired by my recent trip to Estonia and Oko Restoran Kaberneeme  I had to try to make it. Why I have not made this scrumptious condiment before I do not know because it is so easy to make. This velvety smooth butter has a non sweet caramel flavour.

Serve this butter with different types of bread and top it with different herbs, spices and other flavorings you want to sprinkle it with.

This is how I made mine.

Melt half of the butter you plan to use in a pan and let it brown a bit. Pour the clarified butter in a container and leave the burnt residue behind in the pan. Let the butter cool and harden in room temperature.

When the clarified butter is cool, put the unmelted butter in a mixer and beat it to a fluffy mixture and add the browned butter until it i all incorporated. Put the butter in a bowl or on a plate and enjoy it with fresh baked bread, crackers or bread chips.

For a little flavour I shredded up some chanterelle, dried them in my oven,  ground the dried pieces in a mortar and sprinkled the powder on top of a lump of butter and enjoyed them with some Estonian rye bread chips.

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Filipino banana ketchup

I expected tomato ketchup when I asked for ketchup, but instead I got this sweet strange sauce. Being six years old I could not understand why every thing had to taste strange and different.

Now as an adult, I’ve learned to appreciate the sauce with barbecue.
Urban legend says that the ketchup came about when the american soldiers came to the Philippines and the demand for ketchup became greater than what was available. There were hardly any tomatoes in the Philippines, but there was an abundance of bananas.
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ingredients:
0.5 dl raisins
0.25 dl onions
2 cloves minced garlic
0.5 dl tomato pure
2 large ripe bananas
1.5 dl cider vinegar
4.5 dl water
0.5 dl sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon ground chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon dark rum
Combine raisins, onions, garlic, tomato pure, bananas, water, sugar and 2/3 of apple cider vinegar in a sauce pan.

Bring this to a boil and blend the mixture with an immersion blender, add the rest of the vinegar, salt and the chili flakes.

Let this simmer for about an hour on medium heat.  Stir once in a while so the sauce won’t burn. If the mixture gets to thick, dilute with a little water.

Add the rest of the spices and let this simmer another 30 minutes until you get the consistency of ketchup.
Store the sauce in clean bottles or jars.