Simple Kimchi Soup

Simple Kimchi Soup

Let’s start with the basics. Kimchi soup is a delicious and easy way to make a meal out of kimchi and it just takes a second. I like that the final product is not as hot as I would have expected. I’m not a hot pepper guy, when I eat spicy kimchi I cut it with white kimchi or sauerkraut to dial the heat back. If you want it spicier just add more pepper sauce of whatever variety. I used Scotty’s Traditional Kimchi but Scotty’s Vegan Kimchi is fine as well. Likewise I use a beef bone broth for my stock, but a vegetable stock is fine. One of the nice things about using Scotty’s is that you don’t need to add garlic or ginger or any other vegetables, it’s already in there. We added green onions to make a pretty picture but they are already in Scotty’s as well. So here you go, enjoy.

-one 16 oz jar of Scottys Stout Kimchi traditional or vegan
-12 ounces tofu cubed
-32 ounces beef, chicken, or vegetable broth
-2 tablespoons sesame oil
-1 egg
-1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

-Strain kimchi fluid and set aside.

-In a 2 qt pan lightly saute drained kimchi with sesame oil for 3 minutes or until dry looking.

-Add tofu and saute for another 3 minutes or until tofu has firmed.

-Stir in broth and strained fluid from kimchi

-Bring to boil and simmer low for 30 minutes

-Let soup cool and serve over rice with a fried egg and sesame seeds 

Serve over rice or you favorite starch.  A delicious way to serve kimchi soup is with a fried sunny side up egg over the top. Garnish with fresh green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

Add salt to taste, the broth you use will undoubtedly affect this so salt after you try it.

For a twist stir in 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream right before you take it off the stove.

Cooking with Fermented Foods

Cooking with Fermented Foods

Surprise! The ferment blog is going to have a recipes page. It’s kind of a no brainer. At the heart of this entire lifestyle is cooking and eating. You commit to a level of time and energy that you are willing to put into your daily food regimen when you start a garden or a ferment closet. When you grow and prepare food, you must eventually cook and eat it.

This is a salinity test I did on shoestring potatoes

It’s easy to lose sight of the time commitment involved with cooking and eating. When I first created my ferment room I didn’t fully realize that I would mostly stop eating out. I have to, I have a rotation of food coming through. This involves at least an hour a day of cooking and preparing food. On weekends or whenever I have extra time, I may spend several hours preparing food for later. Of course we are all human, sometimes you take days off and sometimes you do abbreviated cook days. The idea is to not have a big burst of energy and then slack off, its about generally doing something day afer day and making it a part of your life. Making sure you have the time and energy to give to cooking and preparing food is essential to good health, there is no other way around it. Being healthy means eating healthy and in todays world that means cooking and preapring your own food.

Eating uncooked raw fermented food is one of the healthiest ways to eat and promote good digestion and absorption. The problem with this is that if you are making your own fermented foods you probably have more ferments than you can just eat raw. Cooking dishes with fermented vegetables is an age old tradition. Before refrigeration every culture relied on fermented foods to get through the months when there was nothing to harvest. There are tons of recipes and creative uses for ferments like sauerkraut and kimchi. So lets cook this stuff up!

This is a salinity test I did on some beets. Notice how the 5% is much more active than the rest.
Notice the pressure build up on these sliced jalapenos

Aside from health and preservation, the food value of fermented vegetables is tremendous. First and foremost is a delicious sour flavor that complements many different foods. Almost equally important when cooking is that fermented foods have a very sturdy consistancy. Fermentation hardens vegetables so cooked fermented vegetables stay crisp longer while being cooked. Another aspect that I like about cooking with fermented foods is that you don’t ever have the surprise of one of your key ingredients having gone bad on you. I hate it when I’m making something to get rid of the left over carrots and then once I’ve started I find out the carrots have spoiled. But the best reason for cooking fermented vegetables is that there are so many different delicious recipes. Remember that this is the way literally everyone from every culture ate before refrigeration. That’s a lot of recipes involving literally everything that can be grown in every region on earth.