Thread Number: 68770  /  Tag: Recipes, Cooking Accessories
Kimchi is Great on French Fries
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Post# 915713   1/14/2017 at 22:37 (191 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Sorry, all.  The other day, I found kosher kimchi. It is made in South Korea. The brand name is Chongga. I guess the main difference between it and most kimchi is that it does not contain the shrimp sauce, but it tastes like the kimchi I have had in a noodle restaurant, is vegan and halal. So I tried it on French Fries and it was good. It is good on hard cooked eggs. Tonight I tried it with hummus and liked the additional flavor. Finally, I made tuna salad and chopped some kimchi into it and that tasted good, too.


I have no idea what sort of assault the fermented cabbage and red chili peppers will wreak on my guts, but kimchi, like sauerkraut and half sour pickles contains beneficial Lactic Acid Bacteria and in the case of kimchi, Lactobacillus kimchii along with essential vitamins and carotenes.


So that is my big adventure, finding a food that I like in a form I can eat. I guess if anyone has allergies to shellfish, they could enjoy this particular kimchi, too.

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Post# 915726 , Reply# 1   1/15/2017 at 00:56 (191 days old) by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

I would think the problem with kosher kimchi is the production line and storage vessels, which of course have to be up to kosher standards.  Really, all sorts of Asian recipes are kosher, but because pork and shellfish are so common in Asian food, they render all the cooking vessels and refrigerators treif.  There’s also the issue of processing the cabbage and such properly to make sure there is no danger of insect infestation. 


I’m in shock that anyone would find it worthwhile to do the work necessary to produce kosher kimchi in any quantity, but I suppose a kosher sauerkraut business could easily expand into kimchi.



Post# 915728 , Reply# 2   1/15/2017 at 01:03 (191 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden)        

sudsmaster's profile picture

I love kimchi. I make my own 2-3 times a year (it keeps in the fridge for a long time). I guess mine would qualify as kosher, because I don't use shrimp either. Instead I use bonito powder and flakes for fish component. I've made it the traditional way with Napa cabbage etc, but also with coleslaw shredded cabbage and carrots. Either way it's good, although the western cabbage is tougher and takes longer to ripen in the fridge.


I've never tried it on french fries, but find the kimchi makes an excellent topping for, of all things, hot dogs. Yum. Sort of  like a hot sauerkraut, esp the kimchi made with coleslaw cut cabbage.


The only thing that might mean my kimchi isn't 100% kosher is that I use rock salt for the brine mixture. Typically I buy it in a big sack, designed for water softener systems. It's 99.8% pure with no additives, so no worries about anything interfering with the fermentation. The pepper flakes I get from local Asian groceries, and I make sure it's from Korea.


I usually add thin sliced radishes, or grated radish, either red globe or Asian white, as well as plenty of minced garlic and ginger. I've also added other veggies like bok choy and gai lan (chinese broccoli).


As for the gut, yes, the microbes in kim chi, properly prepared, are considered to be beneficial. The hot peppers are usually not strong enough to upset the gut, but if one's gut is sensitive to spicy stuff, then one should probably avoid things like kim chi anyway.





Post# 915795 , Reply# 3   1/15/2017 at 14:05 (190 days old) by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

It’s very tedious to make sure that leafy vegetables are kosher.  I can’t remember the details, but you have to submerge them in water for a certain amount of time, look for bugs, repeat if necessary.  I can’t quite imagine how it’s done on a large scale.

Post# 915796 , Reply# 4   1/15/2017 at 14:15 (190 days old) by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

I agree that kimchi is easy to make at home.  There are lots of recipes online for Westerners who don’t routinely cook Asian food, and they have just Nappa cabbage, salt, and chiles, with a few extra flavorings.  Kosher fish sauce is also available, but I have no idea about the different brands.  Kimchi is also good without the fish sauce, and I think that’s a common style in many parts of Korea.

Post# 915918 , Reply# 5   1/16/2017 at 11:52 (189 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I tried it on fried okra and find that I prefer what in the south is called pepper sauce, which is hot peppers in vinegar. Okra just needs more than what this kimchi offers.

Post# 915924 , Reply# 6   1/16/2017 at 12:54 (189 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Well, there are many varieties of Kimchee. Some hot, some not as hot. I can vary the hotness when I make it at home. Sometimes I've added hot fresh peppers like Serrano or Superchili. Depends on what you want. But it's not really meant as a sauce, per se, although the kimchee juice can liven up a soup.

Post# 916049 , Reply# 7   1/17/2017 at 09:02 (189 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

This was not a question of heat, just that the additional flavor was not needed so the hot vinegar worked great.

Post# 916184 , Reply# 8   1/18/2017 at 08:30 (188 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture

I remember a Chinese buffet having these black veggie thingies being Kimchi that I didn't try and another visit didn't see, but fortunately at another one I'd gone to years later, did get to...


Here is a sauce I bought that I put on just about everything--even macaroni!--that I better have a good glass of ice water by me when I use:



-- Dave

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Post# 916234 , Reply# 9   1/18/2017 at 14:29 (187 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden)        

sudsmaster's profile picture

Never seen black Kimchee.


Usually it's reddish, from the hot peppers.



Post# 916460 , Reply# 10   1/20/2017 at 00:16 (186 days old) by Joe_in_philly (Philadelphia, PA, USA)        

joe_in_philly's profile picture
Koreans usually eat kimchi with every meal. I was in Korea a couple months ago and stayed at my friend's parent's home a few days. They have a separate, full-sized specialized kimchi refrigerator. That thing held a lot of kimchi! They also had a built-in dish towel/cutting board/utensil sterilizer, something I had never seen before.

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Post# 916484 , Reply# 11   1/20/2017 at 07:34 (186 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
What an experience Joe!

My neighbors son in Surprise (zip 85379) is living in Japan for two years. He is a Nissan engineer.
They visited in September and said it was amazing. They are from Poland, emigrated here in 1972, and enjoyed tasting all the new cuisine.
Korean's also ferment many types of beans to use in cooking.
For each year they ferment, the aroma's flavors change.
Koreans in Los Angeles also do this.
I have learned so much about the world not only in my job, but from knowing many people from all over.
I volunteer at a hospital, and another volunteer went to Korea last year to help adopt a baby for a couple.
Our mail carrier adopted their son from Guatemala. The birth mother was too young, single, and wanted to become a nurse.
His grand parents live on our street. He is now in the 5th grade, and very intelligent.

Post# 916696 , Reply# 12   1/21/2017 at 05:42 (185 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

Is something I have heard of but never seen..

Post# 916710 , Reply# 13   1/21/2017 at 08:03 (185 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        

it is likely hard to find in some areas.
It's cabbage, it's spicy, sour, and with varying degrees of heat.
You could make it.
Chinese nappa cabbage, vinegar, a bit of oil, salt, and hot chili pepper of most any variety, paprika, you can get the hot type also.
It must cure for at least two weeks in the refrigerator.

Post# 916748 , Reply# 14   1/21/2017 at 11:19 (184 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

If you can find a pho noodle restaurant, it is a standard condiment. If you can find an Asian grocery or a grocery with an international section, it will be in a refrigerated case.

Post# 916763 , Reply# 15   1/21/2017 at 13:33 (184 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
DaveAMKrayoGuy & The Kimchi Cabbage/Kimchi Cabbage Sauce

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture

Well, maybe the stuff that I saw at the buffet was a dark red--I remember it having a pungent odor & being not so sure if I would want to try it or not, and when I went to that buffet the next time I don't think it was there--but I go to try some oysters in the shells there at least...


So years later, I did try the kimchi at another place & it was quite good... As for my sauce, I can't believe it but have been one of the most expensive that I'd ever bought...  That and some Chinese mustard that I have, too, after missing out on a big bottle of it the same size as other mustards that was naked down; but found a good size...


So definitely try this stuff while you can & while it's here if hoy udon't ever get the opportunity to go there...



-- Dave

Post# 916839 , Reply# 16   1/21/2017 at 20:16 (184 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden)        

sudsmaster's profile picture

Mediocre kimchee may be easy to make.


Real kimchee is not all that easy. You have to follow rules.


One: don't add vinegar. It's pointless. You want the bacteria in the fermentation to supply their own acid.


Two: don't omit the brining step. This involves soaking the cut veggies in a saturated salt water solution at room temp overnight, in a cylindrical container with a plate or disk holding all the veggies under the solution.


Three: Rinse off the brine and then toss the brined veggies with a mixture of korean red pepper flakes (if the package has Korean all over it, it's probably OK), ginger, garlic, a little salt, a little sugar, fish sauce/powder/flakes, and enough water to make it flow and allow it to coat the veggies with a little left over. The purpose of the fish and sugar is to add enough protein for the desired bacteria munch on. It also adds some flavor.


Four: Incubate the coated veggies for 2-3 days at room temp, again with a plate on top to keep everything submerged. When it starts bubbling from fermentation action, it's ready for the next step.


Five: Keeping the material submerged, move it to a fridge to complete the process. Usually (in my experience) two weeks is needed for full flavor to develop. Although Kimchee fresh from the first fermentation isn't bad, either.


Six: The kimchee should be quite acidic with a nice spicy flavor. If the veggies were properly brined, they won't be soft and mushy, but will still have some crispness and bite.


Seven: The kimchee can keep a long time in the fridge, if it's kept covered and submerged as described. We're talking weeks to months.


Kimchee uses a method not unlike that used for naturally fermented sauerkraut or pickles, which these days a very hard to find in markets. It was developed in Korea as a way to preserve fresh fall vegetables (cabbage, radish, etc) for the coming winter months. I understand the acidity is from bacteria that produce lactic acid. Not sure if it's the same as in yogurt, but it's said to be good for digestion. You could say it gives your gut a head start.


The bacteria that grow in the initial room temp fermentation stage are said to be different from the bacteria that grow in the second refrigerated stage. The first ones grow rather quickly at room temp. The ones that grow and "cure" in the second refrigerated stage seem to grow a lot slower. I've read that for best results a fridge temp over 40 F is best. My fridges are set to about 334-36F, but the kimchee seems to do OK anyway. As stated earlier, Korean family often have a fridge dedicated for storing kimchee. This is partly because the aroma can be unpleasant for other fridge items. I don't find this to be an issue, but then my kimchee goes fairly light on the fish side (I use bonito powder or flakes instead of fish, clams, shrimp, or anchovies).


If you kimchee gets moldy... you did it wrong!



Post# 916895 , Reply# 17   1/22/2017 at 07:29 (184 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Wow Sudsmaster,

thank's for all the information!
The program I saw on fermenting the bean pastes and curds they used no refrigeration. It was being done out doors. It may be to humid in some climates to do that? Seems very complex.

Post# 916929 , Reply# 18   1/22/2017 at 12:40 (183 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden)        

sudsmaster's profile picture

I understand the traditional Korean method is to bury earthen pots filled with kimchee underground. I suppose that's a natural form of refrigeration. Keeps the stuff cooler in summer and prevents it from freezing in the winter.


I've been on camping trips where we buried stuff like cheese in a pit in the campground, and put a big rock over it (to keep it cool and the raccoons out of it). I've been told a traditional Southern way of storing ham was also to bury it. Most likely after it was smoke-cured.


Post# 917030 , Reply# 19   1/22/2017 at 22:25 (183 days old) by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

If Southerners buried ham, it was probably during the Civil War!!  I’ve never heard of that one.


Speaking of burying kimchi pots, there was an episode of M*A*S*H where Frank was convinced the local Koreans were burying bombs near the camp.  He went on his usual rampage and ordered everything dug up, but of course there were no bombs but only traditional pots full of kimchi.  That episode made no sense to me when I saw it, but it all clicked in my head decades later at a Korean restaurant!


A Korean fellow I once knew commented that Koreans refuse to eat anything soft or mushy.  It seemed like an odd, overly general statement at the time, but I can’t say that anything I’ve ever eaten disproves it.  So as Mr. Master notes above, kimchi made correctly will always be crisp.


My own family used to make sauerkraut in large barrels.  There is nothing German at all about my family, but apparently kraut (as we call it) was common throughout the South until very recently.  It was a necessary way of storing food, but it was also considered to be extremely healthful.  My grandmother told me that back in the day, when family came in to visit from far off—driving all the way on winding US highways and city streets—the first thing they wanted before they even brought in their bags was a bowl of sauerkraut.  It cured whatever ailed them, or so I’m told!!

Post# 917031 , Reply# 20   1/22/2017 at 22:48 (183 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Oh, well, I left out a detail or two about the Southern tradition of burying hams.

Apparently a ham traditionally processed would bear the tracks of maggots on the surface. These were regarded, or so I'm told, as evidence of the traditional preservation methods. They are called "skippers". I guess because when carving the ham, one would "skip" over those portions.

Me, if I saw maggot holes in a ham sandwich, I'd not so gently set it down and excuse myself. But then I'm a Yankee born and bred.

Post# 917037 , Reply# 21   1/22/2017 at 23:23 (183 days old) by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

I never thought maggots could possibly come near a cured ham.  The salt is far too heavy.  But I looked this one up, and sure enough, there is a fly called the ‘ham skipper’ or ‘cheese skipper’, Piophila casei, that will attack cured meat.  Apparently, it actually likes the salt. 


I recall that smokehouses were considered to be bug-repellent, but apparently these horrid flies love the smoke. 


I also read that—as you say—burying the hams was a precautionary measure; but they were buried in sawdust or bran, intended to keep the meat very dry.  This was apparently done in large operations, not so much by individuals.  Burying them underground, even in a vessel, would likely only encourage the flies, because of the moisture.  


Starting the cure in cold weather (classic hog-killing time on a farm, but not for year-round commercial operations) is another precaution. 


The good new is that the flies apparently will not bother a fully dried ham; the danger is in the early weeks of the curing process.  This may be why I never heard of them.  Cold-weather curing and total desiccation were our standard procedures.


The larvae are called skippers, because they will skip up in the air if you disturb them.  Also, at least from what I read, evidence of skippers meant the whole ham was ruined, because they would be inside and not just on the surface.


I had no idea.  I wish my grandmother and her sister were still around so I could ask them what their experience was.

Post# 924036 , Reply# 22   2/27/2017 at 11:05 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
Kimchi on cheese

I bring slices of reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese to work. Last night, I decided to bring some bits of kimchi to go on top of the slices. Oh Wow! Was it good! It traveled very well in some plastic wrap (since it is not juicy) along with a toothpick for distribution.

Post# 924380 , Reply# 23   3/1/2017 at 16:09 by revvinkevin (Between Mickey Mouse & the Queen Mary (So. Cal.)        
a pho noodle restaurant, it is a standard condiment

revvinkevin's profile picture



That's interesting Tom, because Kimchi is Korean and Pho is Vietnamese.    


All of the Pho restaurants I've been to in and around my area have a variety of chili sauce, paste and other spicy condiments, but I've never seen kimchi in a Pho restaurant out here in Southern Cal.

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Post# 924450 , Reply# 24   3/2/2017 at 06:35 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Andrew Zimmern

did a show in Korea. The techniques are different than in Viet Nam for making spicy dishes, but there are similarities. Hot chili peppers and bean paste being one.
For the thinly sliced beef dishes, the Vietnamese finish it in the hot broth.
The Koreans marinate it then grill it tableside over a charcoal fired grill.
The Vietnamese restaurant here does not serve Kim Chi.

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