Archive for June, 2008

Vegan Dumpster Radish Kimchi

I am horrible at keeping up with posting. Someday I will be a disciplined blogger. Of course, judging by the large gaps between my “Coming Soon!” post and when I actually write the post, that day may be a long time coming. I never said I was perfect.

Anyway, once upon a time I briefly dated a Korean girl. By briefly I mean one month and during this month I had a constant supply of her mom’s homemade radish kimchi in my fridge. It was a really good month. Then I screwed up and I’m pretty sure she still hates me and I definitely still miss that kimchi.

Cabbage kimchi is … good. But, radish kimchi is the shit. The texture of the daikon, crisp yet a little soft; lots of heat yet cold; the red pepper and the green onions. Pretty much perfect.

After a Food Not Bombs cooking night I had a ton of daikon and Jerusalem artichokes on my hands. I had to make kimchi even though I knew I didn’t have all the right stuff. Whatever, I had to make kimchi.

You’re supposed to use:

  • daikon
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • fish sauce (use soy sauce or mushroom sauce)
  • sugar
  • red pepper powder
  • green onions
  • salt

This is what I had:

  • daikon
  • garlic
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • soy sauce
  • sugar
  • paprika and red pepper flakes
  • arugula (which I picked out of a bag of dumpstered salad mix)
  • salt

I cubed the daikon, covered with salt, and let it set while prepared the other ingredients. Jerusalem artichokes may look a lot like ginger, but there are no flavor similarities. I minced it like ginger anyway and used a lot since I had a ton and they have such a mild flavor.

I rinsed the daikon and mixed everything together in a bowl. Korean red pepper powder is NOT the same thing as red pepper flakes (like you put on pizza). Red pepper flakes come from cayenne peppers which means they’re pretty hot. I used the paprika, which is quite mild, and added a little bit of red pepper flakes to add some heat.

Pre-fermentation:

I covered it with an inverted plate and plastic wrap and let it sit unrefrigerated for 24 hours to ferment. Then I put it in small containers and put them in the fridge. It didn’t even compare to REAL kimchi, but it was good enough considering what I was working with.

Here’s one of the recipes (with nice photos) that I referenced when making my janky kimchi.

Post-fermentation:

Dumpster Kimchi

And that’s the story of how I made the world’s jankiest radish kimchi.

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Dumpster Tip: Bagels

When freezing a surplus of dumpstered bagels slice them almost completely in half before you wrap them. This way you can just take them out of the freezer, pull the two pieces apart, and pop them in the toaster!

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