Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wasabi-rubbed and Ready!


Wasabi-rubbed Brussels Sprouts Mul Kimchee—I call this Jade Garden, it’s easier to remember. I’m reshooting some of the earlier photos for my cookbook (Korean Tapas for the American Table). Mul (water in Korean) kimchee is usually a non-spicy and prized for its fermented broth. It’s usually served in summer as a refreshing cold soup.

I blanch and cool these before I rub them in sugar, salt and wasabi paste and ferment with sliced Korean radish, ginger and garlic with just a sliver of kombu. Blanching improves the texture and allows flavors to sink deeper into the sprouts. Blanching does in fact kill the lactic acid bacteria, but added raw plant matter and sea salt will aid in fermentation.

This is a relatively quick fermentation. It can be served in a few days but I prefer more tart notes which take up to three weeks. I love the addition of a wasabi paste for the umami explosion; it marries the savory and sweet perfectly. Here are some simple instructions.

You’ll need:
  • 1 and a half lbs. Brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved. Save the outer leaves and scraps.
  • 1 cup sliced Korean radish
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp powdered wasabi or 1 tsp wasabi paste
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/8 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 medallions of fresh ginger, thinly sliced 
  • large mason or Fido type jar with lid
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, remove from heat and blanch Brussels sprouts for five minutes. Drain and cool. Rub reserved Brussels sprouts leaves with 2 tbsp sea salt and set aside for 20 minutes. In a large bowl rub Brussels sprouts with remaining ingredients and set aside for 45 minutes to an hour to allow the juice collect at the bottom of the bowl.

Place all mixed ingredients and collected liquid into a large glass Fido or a mason jar and place the reserved leaves on top. Add enough water to leave at least 2" from the lip and gently tamp all contents down. Allow this to rest at room temperature (70°F) for about three days. When the flavor is at a tart level that you like, store away in your refrigerator.




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