Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Baek-kimchi 백김치

This is my first time making Baek-kimchi , literally translated as white kimchi in English . It is not made with hot pepper flakes and gochujang paste, which is why it called white kimchi . And it is a Non spicy kimchi.  It is made with ingredients like chestnuts,jujubes, pine nuts and a whole range of vegetables. I omitted using salted fermented shrimp , so you can call this kimchi a vegetarian Kimchi. It has a lot of fresh flavors , and is incredibly refreshing and colorful too.  A great side dish to serve your family. I have two friends who shared my love for kimchi . After making this white kimchi, I gave them each a tub to try out and I am sure they will love this white kimchi .  Healthy side dish and easy to make too. 

* I did not follow Maangchi style of stuffing the vegetable fillings, I cut the napa cabbage into bite size pieces and arrange them alternately one layer of napa cabbage and one layer of vegetable fillings in a pyrex dish until all the vegetables are used up.

I am a great fan of Maangchi and I love all her recipes , I want to try out each and every one of her korean dishes that she shared on her official website . She always make me drool before sleeps take over :)

the vegetables used are carrots, radish, leeks, spring onions, red chilli and jujube

to ferment the kimchi - blend together korean pear, garlic, onions and ginger 
add the blended seasoning into prepared brine water. Let it sit for 30 mins

 sieve the blended seasoning and brine mixture before adding to the layers of napa cabbage and vegetable fillings

arrange them alternately ,one layer of napa cabbage and one layer of vegetable fillings

once all the vegetables are used up, pour brine 
onto the kimchi till it is all submerged

make sure all the vegetables are submerged in the the brine 

Cover and let it sit at room temperature until it starts fermenting, which should
be 1 1/2 days to 3 days depending on how warm your room is.
Keep an eye on the kimchi  and taste it now and then,
once the brine turns sour, it is fermenting
Keep in fridge and it will slow down the fermenting process.
It can keep for about 1 month. 

Baek-kimchi - Maangchi 's recipe


1 large napa cabbage
1/3 cup, 1 tbsp plus 2 tsps salt

1/2 pound korean radish ( daikon) cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup carrot, cut into matchsticks
3/4 cup buchu ( Asian chives) cut into 1 inch  * I replaced with leeks and spring onions
3 jujubes, seeded, cut into strips
2 fresh chestnuts, peeled and cut inot thin strips * I ommited
2 tbsp pine nuts * I ommited
1/2 of red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips * I replaced with red chilli

1 medium Korean pear, peeled and cored
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup onion
1 tsp ginger


Salt the cabbage
1. Cut the cabbage in half, then cut a slit through the core 2 inches above the stem, so the leaves are loosened but still attached.

2. Rinse the halves under running water, or soak them in a basin for a few seconds until all the leaves are wet.

3. Put the halves in a large basin and sprinkle 1/3 cup of salt evenly between the leaves. Let them sit for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, turning them over every 20 mins.

4. Rinse the cabbage under cold running water a couple of times to get rid of any dirt or salt. Split each half under the running water, to divide the cabbage into quarters.  Cut out the remainder of the core. Drain and set aside.

Make the vegetable fillings:
1. Combine radish, carrot, jujubes, chives, chestnuts and red bell pepper in a bowl. Set aside.

Make seasoning mix for brine
1. Blend pear, garlic, onion and ginger in a food processor until creamy. Set aside.

Make brine:

1. Mix 4 cups of water and 2 tbsp of salt in abowl with a wooden spoon. Stir it well until the salt is thoroughly dissolved.

2. Put the blended seasoning mix into a cotton pouch, or wrap it a couple times in cheesecloth and put it into the bowl of brine. Press it down with a spoon so the delicious blended flavors seep through. Squeeze it a bit and stir the brine for a while. Remove the pouch.

Make the kimchi
1. Spread the vegetable fillings between each leaf of the cabbage. Fold the stuffed cabbage quarters over and put them into a container, glass jar or korean earthenware pot.

2. Pour the brine over the kimchi so its submerged.

3. Cover and let sit at room temperature unti it starts fermenting, which should be between 1 1/2 to 3 days depending on how warm your room is. A warmer room will ferment faster. Just keep an eye o the kimchi and taste it now and then. When the brine turns sour, it is fermenting.

4. Move it to the fridge, which will slow down the fermentation process. It will keep for about 1 month. Serve cold.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Chilli Crabs

Chilli mom's signature dish.  My siblings and I grew up eating crabs cooked in this manner.  And I copied cat my mom's signature dish.  I managed to get fresh mud crabs from the outside fish stall near my housing estate.  Normally , I have to get them from the UTC wet market and it is really pricey . I enjoyed cooking this dish but I did not enjoy killing them...oops I will not go into further details. I bought two meat mud crabs and two with roes.

This dish is easy to whip out and it tasted wonderfully delicious.  Hubby and I cleaned up every single drop of the flavorful gravy with bread. With each mouthful of the gravy, the flavors just burst in the mouth. So good that I can't stop licking up the gravy :)  everything is forgotten, the artery clogging roe from the crabs in the gravy making it so sweet , I felt transported to another part of heaven on earth!   So yummy delicious that I am happy to share the simple recipe with you guys :)  Try it to believe me !

fresh mud crabs...the cleaning up of the crabs
took up more time than the cooking itself :)


the chilli sauce consists of these ingredients
perserved sour plums, fermented bean paste, garlic, 
chilli paste, chopped fresh chilli, sugar

saute the prepared chilli mixture with rice bran oil till fragrant
and the oil surface to the top

add in the cut crabs and continue to cook till it turned red 
add in 3/4 cup of water and 3 tbsp of thickening
 and continue simmer till gravy thickened

dish up and served hot, garnish top with sliced spring onions

the best part of the crabs goes to hubby...he doesnt know how to eat the body
even that I have to crack the pincers for him ..he is spoilt by me :p

Chilli Crabs - My Mom's Signature Dish


4  medium sized crabs - removed shell, cleaned and cut into half
3/4 cup water - for simmering
2 tbsp of rice bran oil to saute the chilli sauce mixture
2 tbsp of thickening - ( 2 tsp corn flour and  1 tbsp of water )

chilli sauce mixture for 4 medium sized crabs

2 tbsp of chilli paste ( dried chillies , soaked and pounded )
5 cloves of garlic- finely chopped
3 perserved sour plum + 2 tbsp of the sour plum water
3 tbsp of fermented bean paste ( tau cheong )
1 tsp of sugar

sliced spring onions


Heat up 2 tbsp of rice bran oil in a wok, once the oil is hot, add in the chilli sauce mixture and saute till it is fragrant and the oil has surfaced on top.  Add in the cut crabs and stir fry till it turned red. Add in the water and thickening.  Cover wok with lid and simmer till gravy thickens and the crabs are cooked through.  Dish up and served hot . Garnish top with sliced spring onions.


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