Making kimchi

I’ve made my second batch of kimchi. Here is the recipe I used, adapted from a couple from Maangchi’s site. I liked the look of the ingredients from her whole cabbage recipe (fermented shrimp rather than raw squid), but wanted to use elements from her easy kimchi one (chopped cabbage), and also the quantities were on the large size since I’m just starting out in my kimchi journey. I’m just going to provide ingredients – follow the steps on Maangchi’s site for Easy Kimchi but use these quantities.

Equipment

  • 2 large mixing bowls
  • Collander
  • Glass jar – I have used both Korken and 365 jar with lid from IKEA, but anything holding a litre should work
  • Cup measures

I spotted some special kimchi jars with pressure release valves on sale in Lakeland plastics, but they are a bit small and expensive. The IKEA ones seem fine and very cheap.

Ingredients

  • 1 Chinese cabbage from my local Chinese food store
  • About 2 inches of daikon radish cut into match sticks
  • A medium carrot cut into match sticks
  • 4 green onions
  • 8 cloves of garlic or an entire small bulb
  • A couple inches of fresh ginger, minced
  • 8 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 4 teaspoons fermented shrimps and brine (had to go to Korean store on Tottenham Court Road for this)
  • ⅔ cup hot pepper flakes

Porridge ingredients

You actually need about ½ cup porridge. You can freeze what is left over for future kimchi or practical jokes. It isn’t easy to get frozen cubes of porridge out of ice trays so I’d suggest freezing measured ½ cups in freezer bags instead.

I’m looking forward to this fermenting and will report back in a couple of days how it tastes, and if the jars exploded.

Update

After a couple of days the kimchi was nicely fermenting, making a pop when ever I opened the jar. I transferred it to the IKEA jar which fits in the fridge better.

The kimchi is absolutely delicious. Way more firey than what you might buy, but also a much more sophisticated flavour. After 18 days it is almost all gone, so I am off to the local Chinese grocery to pick up some more cabbage and daikon for the next batch. Looking forward to using cubes of frozen porridge for a much quicker assembly.

The above is now my go to recipe for Kimchi until I figure out any further tweaks!

Not sure how long the fermented squid keeps for – it defrosted on the way back from the Korean store…

Super easy bread recipe

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I’ve been baking bread for a few years based on a very popular no knead recipe. I’ve adjusted it to make it even easier, and create less washing up. It takes a little planning, but won’t take you more than 10 minutes prep, then 45 minutes baking time.

Tools

  • The key to this recipe is a casserole with a lid to bake the bread in. This keeps the steam in which makes the bread really moist. Remember to take the lid off for the last 15 minutes of baking to get a good crisp crust. Any cast iron or ceramic casserole will do. 25-30 cm diameter is good for the quantities below. If you get into this, treat yourself to a new or used Le Creuset casserole.
  • Also helpful are some US measuring cups and spoons – these are much faster and tidier to use than scales.
  • Mixing bowl – I use a pyrex one
  • Silicon spatula for getting all the dough out
  • Butter knife for mixing the dough (easier to clean than a wooden spoon)
  • Cling film
  • Tea towel
  • Cooling rack – optional

Ingredients

  • Yeast – I use Dove Quick yeast. You can use fresh yeast – just add to some water
  • Flour – you can mix and match different kinds of flour and experiment with ratios
  • Seeds – sesame, flax, pumpkin, sunflower, linseeds – whatever you like to eat
  • Salt – any will do
  • Water – from the tap

Attitude

Experiment with this recipe, and see if you can cut any further corners to make it easier.

Share what you find with others.

Recipe

  • 1/4 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt – or more or less whatever you like.
  • 3 cups flour – whatever ratio you like
  • 1 tablespoon seeds (or more or less)
  • 13 fl oz water
  1. Mix dry ingredients with knife
  2. Pour in water and mix to dough – it will be quite loose and moist
  3. Cover with clingfilm to rise over night or through the work day – it’ll still be sticky and loose
  4. Take the cling film off and give the dough a stir to “knock it back” – you can be more violent than this if you want
  5. Cover with a tea towl to rise through workday or overnight – still loose and moist
  6. When ready to bake, put the casserole in the oven without the lid, and heat oven and casserole to 210 deg C/410 deg F
  7. When heated, sprinkle some flour on the bottom of the casserole to stop the dough sticking – don’t go crazy
  8. Pour the dough into the casserole, and give it a shake to even it out – use the spatula to get any dough stuck to the sides
  9. Put the lid on, then put in the oven for 30 minutes to bake
  10. After 30 minutes take the lid off and bake for a further 15 minutes – you can even turn the oven up a bit to make the crust even crustier.
  11. Turn out the bread and cool on the rack – or just slice some off and enjoy with fresh butter.

I hope you enjoy. This method is so easy, memorable and quick that you can bake every couple of days and experiment till you discover the best bread you’ve ever tasted.