Friday, 19 August 2011

Kimchi udon (delicious) & cute fish (unharmed)




I love kimchi. Kimchi is one of the staple foods of Korean cuisine, and in its most common form, it's spicy, garlicky pickled cabbage. Yes, not exactly sexy and it takes some getting used to, but once you like it, you're hooked.

Sadly, much of the kimchi that you can buy in Europe has been sitting on the shelves too long and it over-fermented already. You can still eat it, but it is much more pungent than the fresh stuff (which led me to believe that I don't like kimchi! I DO!!!).

The other thing is that virtually all the brands I have found in the UK include shrimp or anchovy. You can always make your own though (no outdoor jar needed, the fridge does the same trick), and I have heard that there are many vegetarian brands available in the US which is blessed with more Korean immigrants.

So, in Japan, kimchi can be found in many varieties in any supermarket or even posh Japanese pickle shops (yes, they have pickle shops here). The best thing is that is very cheap, too, and I have been cooking all kinds of stuff with kimchi the past weeks.

One of my favourites is kimchi udon, which is probably more Japanese than Korean... or is it Japanokorean fusion? Well, it's delicious!

What you need for 2-3 bowls (depending on size) of spicy noodle soup:
  • 1 tbs oil
  • half a bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 200g fried tofu, bite-size
  • 200g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 100 g kimchi, finely chopped (and with the kimchi 'juice' if you are hardcore)
  • 1 tbs Korean chili paste (or Japanese shishimi togarashi, 1 tbs chilli oil - spicy red stuff)
  • 500 ml soup stock (I used instant konbu dashi that you can buy in any Japanese shop in the West, too, sssht... but you can get away with regular veg stock)
  • 4 tbsp mirin (or sake and a bit of sugar if you want to be sacrilegious)
  • 2 servings udon noodles (depends on your idea of a serving)
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • soy sauce if all this is not spicy and salty enough for you!
Heat up some oil in a deep wok or saucepan. Fry the ginger and shiitake gently for 2-3 minutes. Add your tofu and kimchi, fry for another 3 minutes. Add the mirin and stock. Mix the chilli paste and miso with some stock and add it to the pan (or, if you are lazy like me, add water, stir in the instant stock and wait until it boils). Simmer for another 5 minutes.

Cook your udon noodles separately according to packaging directions, drain and place in the serving bowls. Ladle the soup over it just before serving and garnish with lots of spring onions. Guaranteed to kill any cold or other germs hiding inside you!

The other day, we went to Osaka Aquarium. While I was very unhappy about how some of the animals live, others are taken very good care of. It's not like they have a general welfare policy there, or maybe it is lack of funds because they are doing a lot towards the preservation of rare species. They had a special exhibition going on which cute little fish (of course, no Japan without the kawaii), which was my favourite. Look at this funny little guy! He kept hiding in the tiny shell until we got out the camera. Then he turned into a total attention-seeker!










These bouncy dudes were my favourite. They don't really swim, just sit around and roll from one side to the other on the rocks... yes, it's a normal thing for them. They are less than an inch tall. So funny to watch!









5 comments:

galwayblue said...

Lovely!!

russ said...

I like making this kind of noodle soup, although I never tried it with kimchi - in fact the only time I ever tried kimchi I thought it was rank, and had to chuck the packet out! I'm sure its better when it hasn't spent the last decade waiting for an unlucky victim to stumble across it!

Steffi said...

I know Russ, that's the trouble with kimchi in Europe! I can only eat a teaspoon of it per month ;) Rank kimchi is good in kimchi fried rice though. I might try and get some vegan kimchi into the UK for you. Here it's so delicious and I could eat it by the bag.

Senka I said...

Hello,

We've recently launched the site Alldishes.co.uk where users can search through tens of thousands of recipes from UK and Irish food sites and food blogs.

We noticed that you have a great number of tasty recipes on your blog and would like to suggest you have a look at our Top Food Blogs section here: http://www.alldishes.co.uk/top-food-blogs

If you want to add your food blog to the list and have your recipes indexed on Alldishes.co.uk, all you have to do is follow the instructions here: http://www.alldishes.co.uk/add-your-food-blog

Our concept is already live in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Spain, and we deliver thousands of visitors to food blogs daily. Some of the top food blogs receive 20,000+ visitors from us on a weekly basis. You can also find us on Facebook by following the link below: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alldishescouk/228445677248636

Hopefully your food blog will be up there in the top!

Warm regards,
Senka
RecipesUS.com, Hittarecept.se, Findeopskrifter.dk, Alleoppskrifter.no, Todareceta.es

Senka I said...

Hi,

We’ve recently launched the website Alldishes.co.uk. It’s a search engine that aims to gather all the best recipes from UK and Irish websites and blogs. We’ve noticed that you have a lot of great looking recipes on your blog that we would love to feature on our site. To read more about how it all works and to sign up with your blog, please visit: http://alldishes.co.uk or send us an email on info@alldishes.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you!
Kind regards,
Senka