Kimchi is popular in New England…
This article originally appeared in the January 15, 2015 edition of The Lakeville Journal.
© 2015 The Lakeville Journal Company, LLC. Hosted/Reprinted with Permission.
Kimchi is popular in New England as well as Korea
t would seem that there is no
escaping kimchi, the ubiquitous and fragrant Korean
specialty food. And I’m not just
saying it’s ubiquitous in Korea
(where it’s apparently eaten at
three meals a day); it also seems
to be inescapable even here in
New England. Whoever still
thinks of this as a Yankee pot
roast and white bread region
I am not a big fan of kimchi.
I think it’s smelly and kind of,
I became intimate with it Medicine. There is a long and
when my daughter was a board- pretty impressive list of health
ing student at the Marvelwood benefits that come from eating
School in Kent. There are many kimchi: “Health functionality of
wonderful and talented Korean kimchi, based upon our research
students who attend the school. and that of others, includes
They fill the dorm refrigerator anticancer, antiobesity, antiwith kimchi, and heat it up constipation, colorectal health
in the dorm microwave. They promotion, probiotic properties,
leave their unwashed bowls, cholesterol reduction, fibrolytic
red-stained and glistening with effect, antioxidative and antioil, in piles in the bathroom. It aging properties, brain health
promotion, immune promotion,
But this is a food that is more and skin health promotion.”
Hard to argue with all that.
beloved than any other food I
can think of, other than perhaps Normally this column includes
white rice or white bread, which a recipe, but I wouldn’t dare to
are essentially the culinary oppo- post a kimchi recipe; it seems like
sites of kimchi. They are highly one of those foods where every
anonymous. You could probably family has its own favorite way
of making and
eat them three
eating it. The
times a day
No doubt it is an
ch ef D av i d
and not even
Chang of Monotice it.
acquired taste, somemofuku fame
thing you love deeply
has a recipe
you can find
There is no
if you grow up eating it
online that he
way that you
(three times a day).
one his mothfor breakfast
but didn’t reit includes the soft drink 7Up.
Chang also has a recipe for
In spite of my prejudice
against kimchi, I have to ac- quickie kimchi cucumbers that
knowledge that any food that is he shared with my friend Dana
that popular has to have some- Cowin, editor in chief of Food
& Wine magazine, for her new
thing going for it.
No doubt it is an acquired cookbook, “Mastering My Mistaste, something you love deeply takes in the Kitchen.” She and
if you grow up eating it (three Chang offered one pro tip for
making kimchi: Don’t use too
times a day).
It’s also so healthy that the much fish sauce.
“Used sparingly, fish sauce
National Institutes of Health has
an article about it posted online adds an umami flavor. Overused,
at the U.S. National Library of it leads directly to the trash” (as
PHOTO BY PATRICK L. SULLIVAN
Cowin learned while trying to
prepare this dish for a summer
The cucumber recipe, adapted, is below. You can find fish
sauce at most area gourmet
shops and at stores with a good
Asian foods section such as the
Sharon Farm Market. I’ve followed Cowin’s advice from the
text of her cookbook and have
substituted sriracha sauce (also
available at most gourmet stores)
for Korean red chile flakes.
This isn’t the real and nutri-
tionally beneficial kimchi, which
is made of cabbage mixed with
hot chili flakes and then fermented (sometimes, according
to legend, it is buried underground while it cures).
If you want real kimchi, Hosta
Hill farm in Stockbridge, Mass.,
makes an award-winning version that it sells online (www.
hostahill.com). You can also
order it at The Stagecoach restaurant in Sheffield, where chef
Kyle Pezzano adds it to swordfish
Quickest Cucumber Kimchi
Adapted from “Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen”
2 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt; 2 tablespoons of sugar; 2
pounds of Kirby or other cucumbers with small seeds and
delicate skin; one small carrot, peeled and thinly sliced; half
of a small shallot, peeled and thinly sliced; a 1-inch knob of
fresh ginger, peeled and either chopped or grated; 2 garlic
cloves; 2 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces (use the green part
as well as the white; throw out the roots); 1 tablespoon of
fish sauce (Chang instructs Cowin in the cookbook that all
fish sauces are basically alike); 1 tablespoon of soy sauce; 1
tablespoon of sriracha sauce.
Stir together the salt and 2 teaspoons of the sugar in a
small bowl. Combine the carrots, cucumbers and shallot
on a large, rimmed baking sheet and toss them with the
In a food processor, combine the rest of the sugar with the
ginger, garlic, scallions, fish sauce and soy sauce and puree
them into a paste. Taste it; you can add more sugar or salt if
you think you need to.
Toss the vegetables together with the paste and add the
sriracha sauce. As with most pickled foods, this is a dish that
will get more interesting and develop a deeper flavor if you
leave it in the refrigerator overnight.