Need some help/expertise re making kimchi
I just picked up "The Kimchi Chronicles", a Korean cookbook by Marja VonGerichten (yes, wife of the famous V.)
In this book she gives a recipe for kim chi that involves making a paste or sauce using sweet rice powder.
I've never seen a kim chi recipe that takes this approach. The kimchi recipe(s) I'm familiar with, and have tried, all involve salting the napa to remove some water, then letting it ferment. And the labels on the commercial kimchi that I buy at the Korean market do not list rice powder. (I suspect the purpose of this stuff is to assist fermentation.)
So can anyone here speak knowledgeably about this approach to making kimchi, vs. just letting the nappa (and spices etc) ferment naturally?
While I can't speak to making kimchi without some form of rice in it, I make kimchi by blending regular cooked rice into the seasoning mixture. (I grew up making it with rice powder.) Short grain, long grain, doesn't matter, as long as it's white rice.
So while this doesn't help you if you're allergic to rice powder and don't want to use it for that reason, if you're looking for an alternative because you can't or don't want to buy a whole bag of the stuff just to make kimchi, it might help.
Ok. Just to let you know, it doesn't take much. For 3 to 4 pounds of Napa cabbage (before brining), I use 1/4 cup of rice, and I puree it into the other seasonings so that the grains are no longer visible. Too much more than that, and you get what I call the natto effect - sticky strands of fermented rice. The kimchi still tastes good, but it looks like you cooked okra into it. :P