Sometimes we find wonderful things that are greater than the sum of their parts. I find this particularly true in the realm of food & cooking, where ingredients or dishes from disparate places or cultures can meld incredibly well with others.
This has culminated in the delicious world of fusion foods we find today. Now truth be told, I often like the pure forms of foods just as much or more. (I mean, is a Korean taco really “better” than a Mexican taco or Korean BBQ? Or is it really just about being creative in new, tasty ways and having awesome choices to suit the different moods we’re in?)
In the case of an experiment I made this year though, I really just couldn’t get enough of it. Spicy Slaw Chi, with clear flavors of slaw & kimchi happily married. I loved it on anything from burgers and dogs, to big sandwiches, to using it as a side (banchan) with more traditional Korean food. I also used it as a topping to a bulgogi hoagie 100% made from scratch, shown below. (My bulgogi recipe is in my new cookbook!) And I finished my last batch by basically just devouring it all by its lonesome.
If you’re a fan of cole slaw, and you’re a fan of kimchi, well then get ready for a fusion made in heaven! The last great
The finished product fills a quart jar and provides about 8-10 servings.
Shelf life: Around 4 months (much longer than normal cole slaw which is just a few days)
- Quart mason jar with suggested fermenting airlock (otherwise, burp the jar)
- Knife & cutting board
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Kitchen gloves
- 1 large and 1 medium mixing bowl
- Optional: small blender/processor for making kimchi paste (otherwise mix by hand)
- Optional: canning funnel
- 1/2 medium green (or red) cabbage, thin sliced (about 1.25 lbs. before peeled & cored)
- 2 carrots (~1/2 lb.), shredded or matchstick cut
- 1/4 lb. Korean radish or daikon, shredded or matchstick cut (can sub with more carrot or cabbage if unavailable)
- 1 TBSP pickling salt (or use salt at the rate of 2.5% of weight of the vegetables)
- 3/4 cup reserved brine (extracted from the salted vegetables)
- 3-4 cloves garlic (20g), minced
- 1 finger ginger (15g), minced
- 1/2 cup gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1-2 TBSP fish sauce or soy sauce
- Optional: hot pepper(s) of choice, minced (or rough chopped is fine if using a blender for kimchi paste)
AFter the ferment:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2-3 TBSP sugar (to taste)
- 2 tsp rice vinegar (or sub with lemon juice or use 1 tsp rice vinegar and 1 tsp lemon juice)
- Optional: garnish with toasted sesame seeds, sesame oil and green onion when serving
1.) Prepare the vegetables as described above. Combine the cabbage, carrot, and radish in mixing bowl and add the salt. Massage evenly into the veggies and then massage vigorously as though making sauerkraut, until juice is flowing freely from the vegetables.
2.) In small hand batches, squeeze all the juice out of the veggies into the separate, smaller mixing bowl. Squeeze batches by hand until virtually all the brine (vegetable liquid) is in the smaller mixing bowl. There should be a bowl of the squeezed veggies and a separate bowl with all of their liquid. (Suggested to use kitchen gloves due to the salt, also in the next step due to mixing the spicy paste with the vegetables.)
3.) Create the kimchi paste either using a blender or the mixing bowl with the liquid. Use 3/4 cup of the liquid brine. If there is excess, it can be discarded or used in the next step. To the liquid brine, add the following: 1/2 cup gochugaru, garlic, ginger, black pepper, fish (or soy) sauce, and any optional hot pepper. Blend until even and smooth. (If mixing by hand, just make sure all the ingredients are minced and mixed well.)
4.) Add the kimchi paste to the bowl of shredded cabbage/carrot/Korean radish and mix evenly, until all the vegetables are coated. Then transfer to jar using the (optional) canning funnel. Press down to prevent any big air pockets in the product. (You may top off the jar with a bit of the excess reserved brine to help submerge the veggies, but they normally will be fine anyway.)
5.) Keep the jar at room temperature for 7-10 days. After the allotted time, transfer all the jar contents into a large mixing bowl. Fold in the mayo, sugar, and rice vinegar and mix until evenly distributed and coated. Return all the contents back into the quart jar, cover with a regular lid and place in the refrigerator. Product is ready to eat right away. Optionally garnish when serving as explained above.