Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fermenting: root vegetable kimchi

One of the things I miss the most about the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area of North Carolina is the restaurants. Now, I'm not really THAT sad because I did end up in another awesomely foodie town with too many good eateries to count, but there were a couple of standouts back in Cackalacky.

One of those standouts is Lantern. Chef-owner Andrea Reusing says her goal at Lantern is to "present simple, authentic Asian food using seasonal and local ingredients" ... and boy, does she ever succeed!

So I was thrilled to see Chef Reusing and Lantern featured prominently in the September issue of Food & Wine, which highlighted new Southern cooking -- not all that "new" to those of us who lived there, but I guess "new" to editors in New York who still think the South is just about shooting stuff, being quaintly polite and eating BBQ ... not that it's NOT about all that, mind you, but there's other stuff, too.

 I was extra-thrilled with the fact that Reusing shared a recipe for Turnip Kimchi -- some of the best and most unique pickled veggies I have ever had were served at Lantern. I modified her recipe slightly by adding parsnips and red radishes to the mix -- the brine soaked up all the red color from the radishes, leaving them white like the other veg and the brine a beautiful pink color!

The result was wonderfully salt and tart, as you would expect, but with a root-vegetable earthiness. They were fantastic on day 1 but even better on days 2 and 3. I served them with an appetizer tray of my "best-ever" dill pickles, some chicken-liver pate (ridiculously easy to make -- look for a post on it soon) and a crusty baguette. Sorry my photo is crappy -- I was trying to get a quick shot before everyone dug in!

Root Vegetable Kimchi (modified from Andrea Reusing)

1 medium-sized turnip, peeled and cut into pieces
handful of radishes, halved
1 large parsnip, peeled and sliced into rounds
2 heaping tablespoons kosher salt
1 quart water
3 garlic cloves, smashed
2 green onion
1 1/4-inch piece of fresh peeled ginger, cut into thin rounds
1 serrano chile, halved lengthwise, stemmed and seeded (you will only use one half)

Place the vegetables into a 1-quart glass jar. Dissolve 1 heaping tablespoon in 1/2 quart of  water (to make the brine) and pour it over the vegetables. Cover tightly and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.

Drain and rinse the vegetables and rinse out the jar. Return the vegetables to the jar. Dissolve another heaping tablespoon of salt in another 1/2 quart of water. Add the garlic, green onion, ginger and chile. Pour enough of the brine into the jar to cover the vegetables. Cover tightly and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours, then refrigerate for up to 5 days.

1 comment:

  1. You have inspired me to pickle, Kitchen Ninja. I'm always on the lookout for new cooking adventures and you do not disappoint!