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Monday, August 29, 2011

Kimchi Stew - Perfect for Rainy Days



Kimchi Stew.  The words alone can warm me up and fire up my salivary glands to overdrive.


A Korean lady who owns a grocery taught me this recipe.  It's a good thing I did not quite understand her - I mixed up her versions of Kimchi Soup AND Miso Soup and came up with spectacular results.  When I was telling her what I did, she was shaking her head - apparently I committed some sort of Korean Culinary boo-boo.

I continued making this mistake of adding miso paste to kimchi stew, since I liked the taste. Eventually, I found recipes on the net that make use of this combination, along with other flavorings such as chili powder for added fire, soy sauce, onions, and sesame oil.

I keep mine simple, and you can glean the ingredients from the picture above.

Kimchi, plus some kimchi juice from the jar, chopped to bite size portions
Wakame (dried Japanese seaweed)
Miso paste (about a heaping teaspoon per serving)
Soba noodles
Tofu
Water

That's basically it.  I make it in a Korean cooking vessel which I bought very cheaply.  It needs to be placed on a trivet, since it's quite unstable over my gas range.

Basically boil everything and you're done!  I sometimes break an egg during the last few minutes of simmering the stew.  Another one of my not-much-cooking recipes.

It's amazing how cuisines go together at one point as our lives intersect with that of other cultures.  One thing I learned from an Italian chef is to add a dab of butter after reheating left over spaghetti with sauce - it adds an element of richness and makes everything taste fresh.

I found exactly the same tip in this soup, in this version!  I must try that.

And the post that started my craving for Kimchi Soup - thank you, Shinshine!



Sources:

Lodge Cast Iron Trivet, and other Lodge Cast Iron Pans
     - Living Well, Podium, Ortigas, Manila



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