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Kimchee for Novices

roxlet Mar 1, 2013 06:58 AM

I'll admit to knowing almost nothing about kimchee. Sure, I know what it is, but I'm stymied about what to do with it exactly. Last week, I bought some kimchee at H Mart. I asked the person nearby to recommend one that was a little spicy, but not mindblowingly so. It's in a package with a lable that says "Tobagi," and I don't know if that is a brand or a type. Its sell by date is 3/15, so I guess that I have a couple of weeks to figure out what to do with it. This is the ingredient list:
Cabbage, radish, onion, scallion, chive, water parsley, apple, red pepper, garlic, ginger, hot pepper powder, oyster, fish sauce (anchovy), salted shrimp, salt, xlitol, sesame seed. It is an 8 ounce package.

Help, please!

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  1. jpr54_1 RE: roxlet Mar 1, 2013 07:23 AM


    most kimchee is hot.

    it is served in different ways


    Han Ah Rheum in NJ always has bowls out for customers to sample items.

    9 Replies
    1. re: jpr54_1
      ItalianNana RE: jpr54_1 Mar 7, 2013 02:55 PM

      To the kimchee lovers,

      Did you eat it as a kid? Did you take your first bite and like it right away? I love sauerkraut but kimchee doesn't make me happy. Maybe I'm trying the wrong kind/source/pairing.

      1. re: ItalianNana
        jpr54_1 RE: ItalianNana Mar 7, 2013 04:05 PM

        I didn't grow-up with kimchee.
        I got my first taste of kimchee in 1990's
        I didn't like it right away. My son encouraged me to eat it.

        I tried the samples at Han Ah Reum (H Mart)and I was hooked.

        1. re: ItalianNana
          hannaone RE: ItalianNana Mar 7, 2013 04:32 PM

          I grew up in Colorado and Southern California, and the only thing I knew about Korea was that it was a name on the map.
          Joined the Air Force, got stationed in Korea in 1978. Tried a lot of Korean food, including Kimchi, fell in love with both the food and the second best cook in the country. Got married, got the best cook as mother in law, and got both of them into the states. Sponsored the third best cook (sister in law) into the states a few years later. Win/Win/Win.

          1. re: hannaone
            ItalianNana RE: hannaone Mar 28, 2013 09:09 PM


            What a great story! I will heist my old butt to the kimchee section!

          2. re: ItalianNana
            The Professor RE: ItalianNana Mar 7, 2013 04:53 PM

            I first tasted it about 38 years ago...it was definitely love at first bite. Some kimchee is part of my lunch several times a week. I particularly like the 'poot baechu', made from baby napa.
            Korean sauerkraut definitely _rules_.

            1. re: ItalianNana
              fldhkybnva RE: ItalianNana Mar 7, 2013 05:21 PM

              My dad loved it as a kid and I wouldn't go near it because of the smell but as an adult had it for some reason I can't remember and loved it.

              1. re: ItalianNana
                JungMann RE: ItalianNana Mar 7, 2013 06:12 PM

                I first tried kimchi when we moved to a Korean neighborhood when I was in the sixth grade. Brother and I loved it but the parents never seemed to develop a taste for it.

                1. re: ItalianNana
                  mariacarmen RE: ItalianNana Mar 8, 2013 01:26 PM

                  didn't eat it until well into my late 30s - loved at first bite.
                  it's definitely an acquired taste for some - with its tart/funky/spicy mix, all of which i love.

                  1. re: ItalianNana
                    tcamp RE: ItalianNana Mar 29, 2013 07:02 AM

                    I had it first as a kid - the wife of one of my dad's colleagues made it for us periodically. My dad grew up in Japan with german parents and has a love for all things pickled - daikon pickle, sauerkraut, the stinkier the better.

                    Now, I really crave those flavors.

                2. The Professor RE: roxlet Mar 1, 2013 07:34 AM

                  I like it plain with rice, stir fried with some shredded pork, or as an addition to soup (it even dresses up a quick ramen if you find yourself in a rush).

                  Regarding the "sell by" date, you can usually disregard it; as on many packaged foods, it's fairly meaningless to a degree. In fact, kimchee is often tastier when it has had a chance to ripen more.

                  1. u
                    Unraveled RE: roxlet Mar 1, 2013 07:37 AM

                    I like to eat with heavy meats (beef, pork) to cut down the heaviness and fattiness.

                    Old kimchi (when it really starts to stink) is great in kimchee fried rice, kimchee stew, and kimchee "pancake."

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Unraveled
                      roxlet RE: Unraveled Mar 1, 2013 07:39 AM

                      So you eat it just like that? Plain? Is it heated or eaten cold from the fridge, or best left to stand at room temperature?

                      1. re: roxlet
                        jpr54_1 RE: roxlet Mar 1, 2013 07:50 AM

                        yes and yes

                        I eat it cold

                        1. re: roxlet
                          LMAshton RE: roxlet Mar 1, 2013 03:54 PM

                          We eat it cold.

                          1. re: LMAshton
                            HillsofBeverly RE: LMAshton Mar 3, 2013 02:41 PM

                            I'm not Korean and I eat it cold, right out of the jar. Or in fried rice, or as a side dish.

                            ETA - make fried rice, toss kimchi in towards end, top with a fried egg and soy sauce/sesame oil/gojuchang (Korean pepper paste). Mix, yum.

                            1. re: HillsofBeverly
                              paulj RE: HillsofBeverly Mar 3, 2013 02:53 PM

                              I recently tried a kimchi soup - essentially cooking chopped kimchi with some pork and a lot of water. A good way of using a lot of kimchi at once

                              1. re: HillsofBeverly
                                mariacarmen RE: HillsofBeverly Mar 4, 2013 10:46 PM

                                besides eating it with korean bbq-style pork/beef, this is my favorite thing to do with kimchi.

                        2. hannaone RE: roxlet Mar 1, 2013 08:08 AM

                          Tobagi is a brand that is widely available across the states.

                          Usually eaten as one of many side dishes with a Korean meal but with almost unlimited other uses. Usually eaten from chilled to room temp, but can also be fried or even grilled and served hot (usually with beef).
                          If the pieces are large enough you can wrap a bite sized piece of grilled meat in it.
                          Use it in lettuce wraps, seaweed and rice rolls, omelets, in tacos, spring rolls, dumplings, etc
                          You are only limited by your imagination.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: hannaone
                            C. Hamster RE: hannaone Mar 1, 2013 08:21 AM

                            Kimchijjigae!! Delicious kimchi-based stew/soup


                            1. re: hannaone
                              hannaone RE: hannaone Mar 1, 2013 09:35 AM

                              Made myself hungry so had to have an omelet

                              1. re: hannaone
                                pagesinthesun RE: hannaone Mar 1, 2013 11:35 AM

                                Nice omelet skills! Looks yummy

                                1. re: hannaone
                                  LMAshton RE: hannaone Mar 1, 2013 03:54 PM

                                  LOVE kimchi in omelette.

                              2. c
                                cheesemonger RE: roxlet Mar 1, 2013 08:22 AM

                                Kimchee is awesome. I think the best way for you is to make kimchee fried rice. There are lots of recipes on the internet, or if you have a favorite fried rice you make, just add chopped kimchee to it and stir in in enough to heat it up.

                                By itself, cold, makes a nice snack or side. Also think about using it wherever you'd use pickles- on a burger or hot dog, in a sandwich.

                                1. pagesinthesun RE: roxlet Mar 1, 2013 08:34 AM

                                  Does anyone have any experience is making kimchee at home?

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: pagesinthesun
                                    cheesemonger RE: pagesinthesun Mar 1, 2013 08:38 AM

                                    Yes, I do it all the time, it's super easy. Make sure and burp the jar, or it explodes. Not that it's ever happened to me or anything. ;)

                                    1. re: cheesemonger
                                      pagesinthesun RE: cheesemonger Mar 1, 2013 08:49 AM

                                      heehee, thanks for the advice. Do you have a recipe that you like?

                                      1. re: pagesinthesun
                                        cheesemonger RE: pagesinthesun Mar 2, 2013 03:55 PM

                                        Hi, Oddly enough, I've found this recipe from David Leibowitz to be very good. I'm able to find Korean chili threads, and I toast them lightly and then grind them up.

                                        And did I mention the part about burping the jar? I think so :)


                                        1. re: cheesemonger
                                          hannaone RE: cheesemonger Mar 2, 2013 06:55 PM

                                          And whatever you do, DO NOT PACK IN SUITCASES FOR AIR TRAVEL!!!!!!


                                          1. re: hannaone
                                            cheesemonger RE: hannaone Mar 2, 2013 07:29 PM

                                            that's awesome. I can only imagine. At least you can get some new clothes (and case) out of it.

                                    2. re: pagesinthesun
                                      LMAshton RE: pagesinthesun Mar 1, 2013 04:00 PM

                                      Yep, do it all the time. It really is incredibly easy. If you've made sauerkraut, it's basically the same but with additional ingredients.

                                      Slice cabbage and other vegetables. Add a bit to a crock or whatever you're storing it in. Sprinkle on salt and seasonings. Pound cabbage and veggies a bit, just enough to bruise them. Add another layer cabbage & veggies and seasonings, pound. Repeat and repeat and repeat. By the time you've reached the top of the crock, you should, theoretically, have some liquid coming out of the veggies - that's been brought on by the pounding and the salt. You want to make sure all the veggies are submerged. Put a plate on top and weigh that down if necessary - I tend to use my sugar container since it's a pretty good weight. And the sugar container will, a few hours later, be replaced with something lighter as more liquid exits the veggies - I want that liquid to stay in the crock, not go all over my counter. Then let sit on the counter until it's fermented the way you want it - but keep it covered so no bugs can get in. For me, in a tropical climate, that's about, oh, 4-5 days. Then toss it in the fridge and eat at will.

                                      You want to add enough salt that you've got a salty soup sort of salt level. It's the salt that keeps it from rotting. If you're paranoid, you can add a bit of vinegar, like a tablespoon-ish. Seasonings are to taste, as are the additional vegetables.

                                      1. re: pagesinthesun
                                        paulj RE: pagesinthesun Mar 1, 2013 04:55 PM

                                        Video from the Mind of Chef on making kimchee

                                        1. re: paulj
                                          LMAshton RE: paulj Mar 1, 2013 05:13 PM

                                          Ack. That video isn't available in my region. Drat.

                                        2. re: pagesinthesun
                                          calumin RE: pagesinthesun Mar 1, 2013 08:30 PM

                                          This is my favorite kimchi recipe.


                                          The only difference is that I use half the rice porridge as what the recipe calls for. I also don't layer the kimchi leaves - I just cut them up and mix them with the marinade.

                                          The important things are to make sure you get the right kind of Korean salted shrimp sauce and Korean anchovy sauce. Also for the red pepper powder get the coarse kind if you can find it.

                                          Try it, it is very good!

                                        3. k
                                          kengk RE: roxlet Mar 1, 2013 08:53 AM

                                          I like to put a big hunk of it on a saltine cracker for a snack.

                                          To incorporate it into a meal; my favorite is with plain rice and some kind of grilled/barbecued meat.

                                          1. JungMann RE: roxlet Mar 1, 2013 09:00 AM

                                            Tobagi is the brand name. I generally eat cabbage kimchi as a side dish; it is a good foil for heavy dishes. As others have mentioned you can use kimchi as a main ingredient in cooked recipes as well, such as kimchi pancakes (pajeon), fried pork belly (buta kimchi) or rice (bokkeum bap), etc. David Chang has a recipe for brussels sprouts with kimchi (http://www.chow.com/recipes/29507-bru...), highlighting its affinity for pork. It also goes well with cheese and you may come across recommendations for kimchi tacos or quesadillas as well.

                                            Past the sell by date, the kimchi is still edible but will be quite sour and may even taste carbonated at this point. You can tame some of that sourness by cooking it in a soup (see: jjigae or soondubu).

                                            1. a
                                              APK_101 RE: roxlet Mar 1, 2013 09:14 AM

                                              Kimchi is a staple at my house. I like doing a quick fried rice (just rice and aromatics) with kimchi, greens, and scrambled eggs on top. Avocado goes well with that too.

                                              The thing that most increased my enjoyment of kimchi was when I figured out to chop it into smaller pieces. Sometimes the chunks in jarred kimchi are really big and it's just more than you need in any one mouthful.

                                              I've got the stuff for homemade kimchi sitting in my fridge, going to try that for the first time.

                                              1. tcamp RE: roxlet Mar 1, 2013 04:42 PM

                                                Great ideas here. I don't think I saw this: Kimchi grilled cheese. Sharp cheddar with a layer of kimchi on top on your choice of bread (I like sourdough). Slather with mayo and grill.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: tcamp
                                                  hannaone RE: tcamp Mar 1, 2013 05:01 PM

                                                  I haven't tried that yet. Sounds good.

                                                  Love kimchi and cheese in a lot of things like the omelet above. Making kimbap with kimchi, lettuce, cheese, spam, and mayo is good also.

                                                  1. re: hannaone
                                                    ajk11 RE: hannaone Mar 10, 2013 12:35 AM

                                                    Yes, kimchi is good with EVERYTHING- or at least anything that needs a balance of a sour, salty, spicy, pungent, and bright aspect. Here are some ideas that no one has mentioned yet:
                                                    -It can make something as unappealing as canned corned beef hash (fried until nice and crispy with caramelized kimchi) into something sexy and delicious! add a runny egg too
                                                    -Even great with tuna salad (helps balance the richness of fish and mayo).
                                                    -Delicious chopped up finely mixed into fried cheesy arancini balls (again helps balance the richness)
                                                    -Kimchi juice mixed into a blood mary
                                                    -Nothing cures a hangover better than a shot of kimchi juice:)
                                                    -Summer radish water kimchi with korean pears (like a refreshing cold soup)
                                                    -Ritz cracker+cream cheese+chopped kimchi topper= So wrong but so good
                                                    I can go on and on....

                                                  2. re: tcamp
                                                    LMAshton RE: tcamp Mar 1, 2013 05:12 PM

                                                    Oh yeah, that sounds fantastic. :D

                                                    1. re: tcamp
                                                      APK_101 RE: tcamp Mar 1, 2013 09:41 PM

                                                      Holy cow, yes. I'm such a sucker for the kimchi and cheese food truck cuisine. I gotta it at home and save myself the 45 minute wait in line.

                                                    2. fldhkybnva RE: roxlet Mar 1, 2013 10:41 PM

                                                      If you have access to that H Mart again I might pick up some of the marinated bulgogi beef and lettuce - love lettuce wraps with bulgogi, topped with kimchi

                                                      1. fldhkybnva RE: roxlet Mar 1, 2013 10:42 PM

                                                        Also I am not sure where you are located but at my local H Mart they make in-house Kimchi which is fabulous!

                                                        1. THoey1963 RE: roxlet Mar 1, 2013 11:14 PM

                                                          First, I too thought that all Kimchi was the cabbage kimchi that you are talking about. But, according to my Korean wife, kimchi is a basic side dish in Korea and is made many ways, sweet / spicy / pickled and using many different ingredients, not just with cabbage.

                                                          As to a cabbage kimchi recipe, without trying to watch my wife make her's and trying to estimate measurements (she does it by taste), I would suggest this site:


                                                          1. hannaone RE: roxlet Mar 3, 2013 01:23 PM

                                                            Today and tomorrow making kimchi.

                                                            60 lbs of napa cabbage and 40 lbs of daikon. The napa is salted, now we need to shred all that daikon.

                                                            13 Replies
                                                            1. re: hannaone
                                                              hannaone RE: hannaone Mar 4, 2013 04:48 PM

                                                              So the kimchi is finished except for letting it sit for a couple of days.

                                                              1. re: hannaone
                                                                kengk RE: hannaone Mar 4, 2013 07:02 PM

                                                                That looks good. I greatly prefer it when the cabbages are left together like that.

                                                                1. re: hannaone
                                                                  cheesemonger RE: hannaone Mar 4, 2013 08:40 PM

                                                                  that looks great! I've never made it while keeping the cabbages intact, thanks for the update, and I'm looking forward to observing the progress.

                                                                  1. re: cheesemonger
                                                                    hannaone RE: cheesemonger Mar 4, 2013 10:06 PM

                                                                    This is actually a more traditional way of making kimchi than the cut version.
                                                                    The cut version was more for restaurant use so that diners wouldn't have to separate and cut the kimchi at the table. This spread to household use because it is more convenient as a banchan dish.
                                                                    The whole leaf version is still popular though because it is better for use in Ssam style dining and many people think that it is better for soups as well.
                                                                    This version is very good with Bossam (pork belly wraps).

                                                                    1. re: hannaone
                                                                      THoey1963 RE: hannaone Mar 7, 2013 02:00 PM

                                                                      My wife won't cut the kimchee into small pieces like a restaurant, but she will take the heads of cabbage and quarter them. Something about being easier to get the spice mix in between all the leaves...

                                                                      1. re: THoey1963
                                                                        hannaone RE: THoey1963 Mar 7, 2013 04:34 PM

                                                                        The quartered cabbage also fits into one gallon jars a lot better. My wife does it both ways, but when she makes a huge batch for sale she does the half cut.

                                                                2. re: hannaone
                                                                  ohmyyum RE: hannaone Mar 4, 2013 11:28 PM

                                                                  Is daikon the same thing as moo (sp)?

                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                    calumin RE: ohmyyum Mar 5, 2013 12:57 AM

                                                                    Most daikon (radish) sold in American stores is Japanese, but Korean radish is slightly different from the Japanese one. You can probably use the Japanese one if you have to, but Korean radishes are smaller and wider. Japanese daikon is thin and long.

                                                                    1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                      hannaone RE: ohmyyum Mar 5, 2013 05:34 AM

                                                                      calumin is right, the long carrot-like white radish is the more common type of Daikon found in many mainstream markets. The flavor is a little different from mu, but not much, and it can be subbed with no problem.

                                                                      The image shows several different varieties of Daikon

                                                                      1. re: hannaone
                                                                        hannaone RE: hannaone Mar 5, 2013 05:58 AM

                                                                        Just a note to anyone who would like to grow their own daikon/mu, I have had good luck with seeds from both these companies:



                                                                        1. re: hannaone
                                                                          weezieduzzit RE: hannaone Mar 10, 2013 08:51 PM

                                                                          Thanks for the links- the selection is great!

                                                                    2. re: hannaone
                                                                      fldhkybnva RE: hannaone Mar 5, 2013 07:45 AM

                                                                      OK I need this recipe!! It looks just like the kimchi that I love at H Mart.

                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                        hannaone RE: fldhkybnva Mar 5, 2013 06:04 PM

                                                                        The batch we just made gave us about 18 gallons of kimchi.

                                                                        For a much smaller batch (about 1 gallon)

                                                                        Actual amounts in the following recipe depend on how much kimchi you want to make so you will need to adjust.

                                                                        For the seasoning paste start with 1/2 half of the amount given for the ingredients. Be sure to taste test the seasoning by swirling some of the radish in the season mix, then adjust according to YOUR taste using the remainder.


                                                                        2 heads napa cabbage (approximately 2 lbs)
                                                                        1/2 cup salt (for brine)
                                                                        1/2 Korean radish (about 1 lb)

                                                                        8 each spring or green onions
                                                                        1 bunch Asian Chives

                                                                        Seasoning paste

                                                                        8 each hot red chili peppers
                                                                        4 tablespoon finely ground red chili powder
                                                                        4 tablespoons coarse ground red chili pepper
                                                                        8 cloves garlic, peeled
                                                                        1/2 small Bae (Korean pear) (sub semi-sweet apple)
                                                                        2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled
                                                                        2 tablespoons sugar
                                                                        1 tablespoon salt
                                                                        1/4 cup Saeujeot (salted shrimp) or fish sauce

                                                                        Prepare the Cabbage

                                                                        Cut the cabbage in half from bottom to top.
                                                                        Place the cabbage in a large pot or other container big enough to handle the cabbage cut side up. Carefully lift the leaves and salt between them using about 1/2 the salt.
                                                                        Slowly add water until there is enough to submerge the cabbage.
                                                                        Add the rest of the salt spread over the cabbage and let sit for at least 4 hours. (overnight is best)
                                                                        After soaking discard brine then rinse cabbage in cold water.

                                                                        Prepare the Daikon, Green Onion, and Chives

                                                                        Cut larger daikon in half from top to bottom.
                                                                        Shred the daikon into a strainer or colander
                                                                        Rinse 1 time in cold water and drain.
                                                                        Place in a small bowl and lightly sprinkle with salt.

                                                                        Cut the green/spring onion into roughly 1 inch sections and add to shredded Daikon.
                                                                        Cut the chives into roughly 1 inch sections and add to Daikon/Green Onion.
                                                                        Add fish sauce and mix well.
                                                                        Set aside until time to mix.

                                                                        Prepare seasoning paste

                                                                        Slice the ginger and pear into small pieces and toss in blender.
                                                                        Remove stems from peppers and add to blender.
                                                                        Add garlic cloves and just enough water to blend into a thick paste.
                                                                        Pour blended mix into a small mixing bowl, then add all other paste ingredients and mix well
                                                                        Let stand about fifteen minutes.

                                                                        Mix the Kimchi

                                                                        Add the seasoning paste to the Daikon/Green Onion/Chives and mix well.
                                                                        TASTE TEST - if the mix needs something more adjust by adding very small amounts and tasting after each addition
                                                                        Add the seasoning mix to the Napa cabbage. Be sure to raise the leaves and spread the mix throughout the cabbage.
                                                                        Place the kimchi into storage container(s) and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours, then refrigerate.

                                                                    3. mariacarmen RE: roxlet Mar 4, 2013 10:53 PM

                                                                      i've still not ventured into making my own (i don't know what's holding me back, i know it's not difficult), but i have a mom-&-pop place that makes their own near my dad's house, and i buy that regularly. i've never tried the mass produced stuff. i've had it in KBBQ restaurants, of course, the place i got to has a sweeter version and a spicy version, and they're both delicious, with plain white rice with an egg on top, or for doctored up ramen, with grilled meats, chopped and sauteed and added to fried rice, as part of a korean pancake... the permutations are endless - anytime you want something tangy and spicy, it's a great addition. i even love the really fermented stuff. i'm thinking of a kimchi burger next time....

                                                                      1. fldhkybnva RE: roxlet Mar 5, 2013 07:45 AM

                                                                        OK this thread is killing me...need some kimchi. I usually eat it with bulgogi but any ideas for how to pair with either seared tuna or shrimp? I think kimchi is in order this weekend.

                                                                        1. cayjohan RE: roxlet Mar 5, 2013 02:54 PM

                                                                          One of our uses for kimchi is in a sort of pissaladière - chopped kimchi and caramelized onions on top of a flatbread dough, then baked. The browned kimchi is sweet and pungent and delicious, and gives you that pleasant funk that anchovies give in traditional pissaladière.

                                                                          We similarly doctor-up frozen cheese pizzas with kimchi; a significant improvement.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: cayjohan
                                                                            mariacarmen RE: cayjohan Mar 5, 2013 04:41 PM

                                                                            great ideas!

                                                                            1. re: cayjohan
                                                                              LMAshton RE: cayjohan Mar 5, 2013 05:02 PM

                                                                              That sounds great! Gotta give it a try... :)

                                                                            2. Bacardi1 RE: roxlet Mar 5, 2013 04:44 PM

                                                                              Apart from just enjoying it as a snack, I also add it to salads, stirfries, & ramen soups.

                                                                              I do usually remove the pieces & cut them into bite-size pieces first if they're overly large.

                                                                              1. g
                                                                                ginkonut RE: roxlet Mar 7, 2013 09:27 PM

                                                                                At home my mom would give it to us on top of fries and cheese. Must cut the cabbage into very small pieces and then fry to make it a little sweet. But my personal favorite: eat it late night with rice and hot water.

                                                                                1. fldhkybnva RE: roxlet Mar 8, 2013 06:15 AM

                                                                                  Uh oh kimchee obsession renewed. I bought a jar of Tobagi and the in-house made at H Mart and I can't stop reaching into the fridge. I think I will pair it properly tonight on the side with swordfish.

                                                                                  1. LMAshton RE: roxlet Mar 8, 2013 04:06 PM

                                                                                    We frequently have kimchee on our wraps. Last night, it was goat tikka masala, kimchee, and sambal oelik on an onion paratha.

                                                                                    1. h
                                                                                      hyunnee RE: roxlet Mar 8, 2013 09:52 PM

                                                                                      Try a traditional yet high protein option: kimchee mung bean pancake is a great snack/appetizer. It doesn't sound very sexy but it's pretty delicious, healthy and authentic. Instead of a flour/water/egg medium, use a mungbean/rice mixture. Let the raw mungbeans and rice sit in water for a few hours then blend it into a puree; add sliced onions, scallions, and chopped kimchi. Can serve with a vinegar/soy sauce. Pairs well with makgullee.

                                                                                      1. c
                                                                                        Chookums RE: roxlet Mar 9, 2013 12:33 PM

                                                                                        Let me warn you - kimchi can become seriously addictive!

                                                                                        So much so that I have very bravely made my first batch, as buying it regularly was getting expensive. My first attempt is pretty good IMHO and it was really fun to make. I definitely will make it again but a simpler version (not crazy about the raddish I obediently added) - and I don't think I salted the cabbage long enough so I know my next batch will be even better given the learning!

                                                                                        Roxlet, just be brave and add it to wherever you want a bit of heat, sourness and crunch. For example, I fried up some leftover boiled potatoes, a couple of eggs, and added kinchi on top and a drizzle of sesame oil - so quick and SO good. I made soup with chicken broth, cooked chicken, rice noodles, chopped up kimchi, handful of peas, scallions, and a little cornstarch to thicken the broth, drizzle of sesame oil on top - yummy healthy quick lunch. The possibilities are endless, as they say :)

                                                                                        And ignore the sell by / use by date to a large extent. The Koreans eat kimchi when it has aged for long periods, it just gets more sour. As long as it is kept in the fridge, and not mouldy it will be ok.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Chookums
                                                                                          fldhkybnva RE: Chookums Mar 9, 2013 12:41 PM

                                                                                          Oh yes, I have a good amount in my fridge and have to resist the urges.

                                                                                        2. pdxgastro RE: roxlet Mar 9, 2013 09:46 PM

                                                                                          Re: making your own. I watched a video on YouTube and the author used a bottle of "Kimchee starter". I think she lives in Hawai'i so it is easier for her to find. I will check my local Asian grocery stores.

                                                                                          I also don't like the big leaf aspect of it. Big leaf is ok for fermentation, but I would prefer it chopped up before putting in the jar. I'm not OCD with most things but I like smaller pieces for distributing more evenly on my food.

                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: pdxgastro
                                                                                            THoey1963 RE: pdxgastro Mar 9, 2013 11:07 PM

                                                                                            As I mentioned above, the wife quarters the cabbage for marinating, but it is usually cut a little if serving as a side. If cooking with it, she will chunk up as needed. But it is larger in the jar until needed.

                                                                                            1. re: pdxgastro
                                                                                              hannaone RE: pdxgastro Mar 10, 2013 07:28 AM

                                                                                              The whole leaf variety is just more traditional.
                                                                                              Making kimchi used to be a social affair where many women of the court or village would get together and make several huge crocks of kimchi at one time. It was much easier to do the whole leaf when making dozens of gallons.


                                                                                              Some people say there is a difference in the taste of whole kimchi vs cut kimchi, but I haven't been able to detect the difference.
                                                                                              The whole leaf version is easier to use for wraps though.

                                                                                              It's good either way.

                                                                                              1. re: hannaone
                                                                                                LMAshton RE: hannaone Mar 10, 2013 05:12 PM

                                                                                                I'd never thought of using whole-leaf kimchi for wraps. What a great idea! We love kimchi in pretty much every wrap I make...

                                                                                                1. re: LMAshton
                                                                                                  hannaone RE: LMAshton Mar 10, 2013 06:04 PM

                                                                                                  There is a style of Korean dining called Ssam. In Ssam dining any food item can be wrapped in just about anything. The most common is to wrap a meat in fresh lettuce or steamed/parboiled cabbage.
                                                                                                  A specific type called kimchi bossam is grilled or boiled pork belly wrapped in kimchi leaves, but Koreans will often use kimchi leaves to wrap any meat or seafood.

                                                                                                  1. re: hannaone
                                                                                                    ajk11 RE: hannaone Mar 10, 2013 06:10 PM

                                                                                                    Don't forget about fresh oysters- Yummm

                                                                                                    1. re: hannaone
                                                                                                      LMAshton RE: hannaone Mar 10, 2013 07:21 PM

                                                                                                      So. I have some reading to do. Thanks!

                                                                                                2. re: pdxgastro
                                                                                                  paulj RE: pdxgastro Mar 10, 2013 06:17 PM

                                                                                                  I've seen the starter in a couple of stores in the Seattle area, including 99Ranch. It's with the other fridgerated jared kimchi.

                                                                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                                                                    pdxgastro RE: paulj Mar 12, 2013 01:07 AM

                                                                                                    I used to live in Seatown and I miss 99Ranch (which I called Ranch 99 for some reason) in the Great Wall! We do have an HMart down here, and Fubon of course. I will have to keep looking.

                                                                                                3. fldhkybnva RE: roxlet Mar 12, 2013 06:27 AM

                                                                                                  Well, I have to put in a vote for fresh prepared kimchi. This past weekend I picked up an in-house batch from H Mart and a jar of Tobagi. I inhaled the in-house batch within 2 days which was only because I held myself back. The Tobagi is still in the fridge, I found it had a very different taste but that could be because it's more fermented and I prefer the fresher taste but just thought I'd report back here in case anyone ever wanted a comparison between H Mart and the Tobagi. I am now really interested to make my own kimchi but fear my house will smell like feet.

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                    Chookums RE: fldhkybnva Mar 12, 2013 11:33 AM

                                                                                                    Frankly, I dind't notice any smell problems when I made mine. Yeah, if you got right up close or when I open the jar now you can smell it a bit - but it's not like the house reeked of it while it was fermenting.

                                                                                                    I only made a small batch, and femented it in the basement.

                                                                                                    I think if you were REALLY worried, you could sit the fermentation container in a big clean garbage bag, loosley tie it off and then take it outside before you opened it or leave it to ferment in the garage which is easier to ventilate.

                                                                                                    But honestly, the smell wasn't at all bad, not from a small batch anyway and it was great fun to make and my homemade stuff is tasing even better as it sits for longer (in the fridge) so go for it !! :)

                                                                                                    1. re: Chookums
                                                                                                      fldhkybnva RE: Chookums Mar 12, 2013 11:38 AM

                                                                                                      Oh, I'm not too worried, more sarcasm than anything else. It seems pretty simple, I should give it a shot but H Mart does such a great job.

                                                                                                      1. re: Chookums
                                                                                                        LMAshton RE: Chookums Mar 12, 2013 04:42 PM

                                                                                                        Yup, no smell. None.

                                                                                                    2. m
                                                                                                      MacGuffin RE: roxlet Mar 12, 2013 07:40 AM

                                                                                                      Aren't there many different kinds of kimchi? I seem to recall being told this by a Korean friend years ago after having my attention drawn to a very benign-looking "water kimchi" while we were eating at a Korean deli.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: MacGuffin
                                                                                                        fldhkybnva RE: MacGuffin Mar 12, 2013 08:14 AM

                                                                                                        There are probably hundreds of different types. I know of a dozen or so main different vegetable types but I'm sure recipes vary quite drastically.

                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                          MacGuffin RE: fldhkybnva Mar 12, 2013 08:25 AM

                                                                                                          That was my understanding; thanks for confirming!

                                                                                                      2. hannaone RE: roxlet Mar 16, 2013 12:01 AM

                                                                                                        Just visited the "My Korean Kitchen" site and Sue has another way to use kimchi - in spaghetti with bacon.


                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: hannaone
                                                                                                          MacGuffin RE: hannaone Mar 16, 2013 05:37 AM

                                                                                                          Trader Joe's has "kimchi rice" in the frozen section that's really tasty and is also vegetarian. I think they import it from Korea.

                                                                                                        2. fldhkybnva RE: roxlet Mar 28, 2013 08:59 PM

                                                                                                          I am planning to make some type of quick stir fry tomorrow - think: chicken and broccoli, moo goo gai pan-esque. I am looking for a good way to serve without rice, do you think it would work to serve a simple soy/sesame stir fry over kimchi?

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                            tcamp RE: fldhkybnva Mar 29, 2013 06:37 AM

                                                                                                            Sure, you can do that but depending on how strong the kimchi is, it might overwhelm the flavors of your stir fry. What about serving over an omelet, if you're trying to avoid carbs.

                                                                                                            1. re: tcamp
                                                                                                              fldhkybnva RE: tcamp Mar 29, 2013 08:53 AM

                                                                                                              Yea, I do have an omelet quite often so this was my idea or scrambled eggs with kimchi.

                                                                                                          2. tcamp RE: roxlet Mar 29, 2013 06:40 AM

                                                                                                            I love kimchi and use it in soups, mixed with rice for a snack, in omelets, just plain, etc.

                                                                                                            My favorite breakfast this week has been kimchi quesadillas. Yum.

                                                                                                            There was an interesting article in my newspaper this week for the kimchi lover:


                                                                                                            1. fldhkybnva RE: roxlet Mar 30, 2013 10:57 AM

                                                                                                              A new favorite because I wanted some kimchi - seared tuna with a soy-sesame sauce and a side of kimchi

                                                                                                              1. fldhkybnva RE: roxlet Apr 10, 2013 12:11 PM

                                                                                                                Is it OK to leave store bought (in-house H Mart) kimchi at room temperature? Would there be any purpose in doing that or should I leave it in the fridge as it's probably already been sitting a while in store?

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                  hannaone RE: fldhkybnva Apr 13, 2013 04:21 PM

                                                                                                                  It probably wouldn't do anything for it. Jarred Brand name kimchi sold in the markets has already been "aged".

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