15 December 2020

Kimchi Love

Posted by the Cake Shop

There comes a moment when you know it’s time. You open the fridge door and it hits you: GRUNGE. Crusty, sticky, slimy, funky. There’s nothing for it but a clear out, a deep clean. It’s the worst job in the world, but there’s no avoiding it – so let’s put on some grunge and face the grunge.

Terry says:

I loved the grunge scene of the deep nineties, in all its messy swagger. Those hard, snarling power chords; Kurt’s soft, worn sweater. Gross but also somehow tender, with all its rips, dents and imperfections. For me, that bruised and spiky vibe just makes some bad things better – like cleaning out the fridge.

What’s to be done with all these scraps and half jars of forgotten bits? My answer is: let’s cook it all up with some stuff and let the result be the reward.

In my fridge, I always end up finding the odds and ends of three or four different kinds of kimchi, bubbly and a little over-pungent. A couple of these kimchi recipes came to me courtesy of Leith’s School of Food and Wine, as part of the nutrition course I’m taking. One uses fennel and apple; another spotlights turmeric (scroll to the bottom of this email for a recipe). Both are light, crunchy, and really quick to make – they’d make a great accompaniment to Christmas leftovers on Boxing Day, and are an excellent base for a non-alcoholic kimchi martini.

But the real culprits behind the fridge-funk are my personal kimchis. They pack more of a punch. Imagine if Flea from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers made kimchi: we’re talking something deeply grunge-y, a Brussels sprout concoction with deep bass notes. My favourite thing to do with these scraps is put on a kimchi stew to simmer while I’m cleaning – I add some fresh chorizo and cook it long and slow.

Or I use it to make something quick and dirty, like today’s lunch — ketchup and kimchi fried rice. Satisfying in the manner of all great greasy-spoon style dishes, with an optional egg on top, sunny-side up. In this context, grunge is the stuff that’s left on the wok or the fry pan; the caramelised goodness of kimchi or bacon, the crunchy tidbits to be picked off with the fingers and popped in the mouth before cleaning the dishes – delicious.


Turmeric Kraut
Serves 6-8 as a condiment

500ml sterilised jar
1 small white cabbage
2 tablespoons grated fresh turmeric
1 tablespoon sea salt flakes
1 apple

1. Prepare the cabbage by removing the outer leaves and cutting into 4, removing the core and then slicing finely. Keep the outer leaves. 

2. Peel, core and finely slice the apple.

3. Peel and grate the turmeric being mindful of the staining that will occur or wear gloves. 

4. Salt the cabbage and combine in a bowl, massaging for at least 10 minutes; liquid should start to appear.

5. Add the sliced apple and turmeric and give another massage.

6. Pack into the jar, pushing down firmly as you go, making sure the cabbage is submerged in  the brine. Top with one of the outer leaves and seal the jar. Leave at room temperature for 3 days.

7. Check daily that the cabbage is always submerged. Top up with more brine if needed.

8. Start tasting at day 3 to see how it is progressing. Stop the fermentation by storing in the fridge when you are happy with the flavour. This will keep for up to 6 months.