I think I have to thank Mrs Kim, a cute little Korean lady in her late 60’s, for making my children adventurous eaters. You see, she and her husband have owned the Japanese/Korean restaurant near us for as long as I can remember.
We started taking our children there when they were perhaps 4 and 5 years old. Mrs Kim was always at the door to greet us, and she somehow always managed to seat us near the huge fish tank (she knew how to keep the kids busy). Then, she would bring over wonderful little Korean side dishes, such as seaweed salad, marinated bean sprouts, and the best of all Korean side dishes, kimchi.
Nearby tables were always amazed that my kids faces would light up at the sight of a dish of kimchi. To some it may take some getting used to. Being that it is fermented cabbage mixed with onions, garlic, scallions and gochugaru a hot, sweet and slightly smokey red chile powder from Korea. Not exactly what you picture when you think kid food.
Thankfully, now even our generic local grocery store stocks some. So we always have a jar in the fridge. It’s perfect perched on top of a bowl of warmed up leftover rice for a quick easy lunch. Or for dinner with baked Asian salmon and steamed edamame. My personal favorite fried rice kimchi with a egg on top, over the top fabulous. Really.
Another non kid food they like are brussels sprouts, yep another cabbagey food. Tossed with olive oil and kosher salt, then roasted at high heat makes them salty and crisp on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. Again, kid food? Are my kids weird?
When I saw in the September issue of Bon Appetite a recipe for Brussels Sprouts Kimchi I did a little food dance. Then ran home and dug out those leftover canning jars in the basement. Boy oh boy will the kids be excited now.
Last night the kids returned from a sushi/kimchi run (yep, they now drive themselves) and sadly for us, reported that Mrs Kim and her husband have sold the restaurant and retired.
We will certainly miss you Mrs Kim, but you always be in our hearts and minds every time we dig into a bowl of kimchi.
- 3.5 oz plus 7 oz kosher salt
- 1 1/2 lb small brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half or quartered
- 1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 scallions, sliced
- 5 garlic cloves,
- 1/4 cup gochugaru (korean chili powder)
- 2 Tbs fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp grated peeled ginger
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Combine 3.5 oz salt and 2 quarts warm water in a large bowl or pot. Whisk to dissolve salt.
Add brussels sprouts and top with a plate to keep submerged.
Let sit at room temperature 4 hours, drain.
Pulse onion, scallions, garlic, gochugaru, fish sauce, Sriracha, ginger and coriander and fennel seeds in a food processor and process until smooth.
Add to bowl with brussels sprouts and cilantro and toss.
Transfer to two 32oz canning jars, packing down to eliminate air gaps.
Combine remaining 7oz salt and 1 quart warm water i a large bowl. whisking to dissolve salt.
Add this liquid to jars to just cover sprouts, leaving at least 1" of headspace.
Place lids on top. Let sit out of direct sunlight at room temperature until kimchi tastes tangy and releases bubbles when stirred. Approx. 3-5 days. Then keep refrigerated.