Monday, July 12, 2010

Kitchen Experiments and Dogs

Destashing my pantry led me to some more kitchen experiments. Experiment #1 is my kimchi. I didn't travel to the Korean grocery store in Oakland to get my Korean ground chilis. Instead, I decided to use some chile de arbol in the pantry, some dried shrimps, fish sauce, ginger, green onions (stem part only) and garlic. And of course, napa cabbage. (Organic napa cabbage will cost you your first child - I just reviewed the receipt I shoved into my purse. Scary, but at least everything else was hanging around my house.)

So far, the kimchi smells authentic, meaning that it's kind of stinky. The characteristic tang from the lactobacillus microbes hasn't set in, but according to the recipe, it I should taste the tang in a week or so.

I adapted the kimchi recipe from Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. The book's a little hippy crunchy (Katz's friends tend to have one word names like "Nettle"), but what I like about it is that he isn't fussy and he cheers you on in your fermentation exploits. I had read and watched numerous videos on making kimchi, and it wasn't until I read his description that I just went for it.

Katz also had a cool trick: He uses a smaller pint jar full of water as a weight stone for the bigger quart sized jar. I didn't want to funkify my crock and I didn't want 7.5 liters of kimchi, so this was perfect! The quart jar easily fits one pound of wilted cabbage.

Another experiment was miso ice cream. I was sure I'd love it, but I had to make it to prove to other people that it would be as good as I imagined. Googling miso ice cream recipes came up with things like "10 most disgusting ice cream flavors," so that was no help. If you'd like to make miso ice cream yourself, I suggest you buy shiromiso, the mildest of the misos. For 3 cups of liquid, I only added 2 tablespoons of miso. I could've probably gotten away with 1 tablespoon, but I wanted an ice cream that was decidedly on the salty side. I also made the custard style of ice cream and I added the miso after I tempered the egg yolks and added them back to the mix.

I'm fading, so before I retire, here's a couple of dog pictures from a recent trip.


  1. Oh my! The dog pictures are hilarious and oh so charming. They're like kids! That is so cute.

    I had my first bit of kimchi last summer when my cousin came home from teaching in Korea. It wasn't bad. A whole bowl? I think not, but I added to my main meal and mmmmmmmm. So good.

    Your kimchi is very photogenic. And using that little jar as a weight is brilliant!

  2. omg. i love the doggie pictures. but what i love more? THE KIMCHI!!!
    wow. you are truly inspiring. and i can't tell bill about this bc then he'll insist on me making it too!



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