Last weekend was pretty epic. I got to celebrate my 41st birthday with lots of friends, which of course I loved because I have amazing friends, and on top of that we had a blindfolded seven course tasting contest as a part of that celebration. We hired a fabulous vegan chef named Sophia Treyger to prepare the mystery dishes for us (you can read all about the dishes she prepared for the event on her blog), and 18 of us put on blindfolds while the rest helped serve the dishes. It was a total blast, even though I didn’t do as well as I’d expected as far as guessing what I was eating. One thing that I did guess correctly, though, and which I haven’t been able to get enough of since: Kimchi! Yes! Last Saturday I discovered just how much I love it, and now I can’t get enough of it. It’s pretty much the only thing I want to eat right now.
Sophia was nice enough to leave the leftover kimchi with us at the end of the tasting contest, but we went through that within a couple of days and I wanted MORE. So I went to the source, and asked Sophia if she would mind sharing the recipe. Happy me, she didn’t mind, and because it is so damn good I’m going to share it with you as well.
After a trip to Fubonn (the nearest Asian market) with a good friend who was also at the tasting contest and also craving kimchi, I was ready to start. Using the recipe Sophia gave me as a base, I made just a couple of alterations:
1) I shredded 3 medium carrots instead of 1 large one
2) I added half a cup of organic red miso paste for a little extra umami boost
The alterations I made were pretty minor and I doubt they affected the bulk much. If you’re wondering how much Sophia’s recipe yields, I filled four 16 oz pint jars to the brim with delicious kimchi goodness.
I am going to wait a day or two and then hopefully my friend and I can trade bites of kimchi so I can tell whether I like his kimchi (which he made without red miso paste) or mine better. As I continue to delve into the world of kimchi I want to experiment with other veggies, other sources of umami, and different fermentation methods. From what I can tell, Sophia’s recipe speeds up the fermentation process by brining the cabbage prior to adding it into the rest of the ingredients. I gathered this after reading a blog post and recipe by a different vegan cook, who goes the more traditional fermentation route and seems to know a lot about umami and monosodium glutamate. If you’re really considering making your own kimchi I highly recommend reading both recipes I’ve linked you to, as well as doing your own research. It’s a super interesting subject.
Now, just cross your fingers for me that I can hold myself back from eating all this deliciousness before it has the chance to ferment!