Restaurant Guide of KC™ - Kansas City Food + Travel Blog

Kimchi

One Great Dish -- It’s Kimchi for Me! 

Back in May, I talked with Executive Chef Brandon Winn of Webster House. He’s so personable it made my blog easy to write. I asked him to give us a favorite dish that even I could make, and he suggested kimchi. I must admit I’ve only ever had kimchi in Korean restaurants, where the often spicy, pickled or fermented cabbage, onions, and assorted veggies mixture is a staple. I’ve never thought of making it myself. Chef Winn says it’s easy. 

 He said, “Kimchi is something that I have been playing around with for the last year for a myriad of reasons. First and foremost, it is delicious, ever evolving and complex. Secondly, there are a large handful of health benefits to fermented foods (i.e., yogurt) that have extreme impacts on the body, how it processes food, breaks down nutrients and maintains a healthy homeostasis. It provides a high level of cruciferous vegetables which aid in keeping the body’s PH levels intact.” 

webster house jar

Whew, let’s just go back to that first one – it’s delicious. But he did also note that kimchi, much like risotto, is a method as much as a dish in itself. It is the theory of salting, pickling and fermenting vegetables of many variations. This technique has been used as a method of preservation for centuries in Korea and similar concepts in other cuisines internationally. 

Brandon told me this recipe can easily be cut in half and is very forgiving. Since it’s pickled, it can last a long, long time in the refrigerator. He says it’s great to top off stir fry, with fried eggs and a small portion of rice, on a cold noodle salad with some marinated and grilled chicken, or even by itself. Be creative. 

Kimchi 
5 # Napa cabbage, thin julienne 
1 gallon water 
1 cup salt 
2 # scallion, whites cut into 1” pieces, greens into 2” pieces 
3 # daikon, thin julienne 
1 # yellow onion, rough chopped 
3 apples, diced 
3 pears, diced 
 3 oranges, peeled and cut down 
½ cup garlic cloves, minced 
1 six (6) ounce jar fish sauce 
¼ cup chili flakes 
2 cups toasted sesame seeds 
1 cup sambal 
3 T Korean red pepper powder 

Bring salt and water to a boil, allow to cool slightly and pour over cabbage. Wrap tightly and store for 4 hrs. Drain off water and rinse cabbage lightly. In a food processor puree yellow onion, pear, apple, orange, powder and garlic into a smooth paste. Toss the rinsed cabbage in this mixture, daikon, fruit paste, fish sauce, chili flake, sambal and sesame seeds. Pack into mason jars ¾ full and seal tightly. Leave out at room temp for 48 hours and then refrigerate until using. 

P.S. Funny fact: Napa cabbage is a type of cabbage which originated near the Beijing region of China. Around the world it’s mostly called Chinese cabbage.
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