Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Batch of Ramp-chu Kimchee


On the East Coast our beloved rampion season is near its end. It seems crazy, but we’ve eagerly waited a year to stand in line to pay anywhere from $14–18 per lb.—but there’s nothing like this sweet, savory, peppery wild woodland chive. Ramps (Campanula rapunculus) are protected by law and are only allowed limited harvest in the spring; they take years to mature and establish rhizomatous colonies, which are easily destroyed by over harvesting. That being said, I’m down to the last small bunch.

To extend what little I have I made a micro-batch of Korean buchu kimchee, usually made from Asian chives. I call it ramp-chu kimchee. I cut the wide leaves into buchu (Asian chives), lightly salted them and rubbed them with Korean chili paste, toasted sesame seed and garlic and let them sit for an hour. As with buchu kimchee, it can keep refrigerated only for about a month, so don’t make a massive tub. Instead, enjoy it while you have it. It should be eaten with gusto along side all your favorite meals. Today I had it with my ramp fried rice and a fried egg. Well, more ramp-chu next year... annyeong higaseyo my beloved rampion!

Ramp-chu kimchee with ramp fried rice and a fried egg

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