Hugh Acheson isn’t shy about kimchi—or about sharing his kimchi recipe. Canadian by birth but a Southerner by choice, the chef considers kimchi an integral part of his Atlanta kitchens, where this recipe is stirred into rice grits as a spicy foundation for crisped pork belly. When asked about the collision of cultures on a plate, Acheson explains his kimchi is “an ode to the modern proliferation of Asian cultures in the South.” We’re with Hugh. Although we’re not so certain we’re still with him when he waxes poetic about the aroma of kimchi in the making. “My kitchen at home is very scented with fermenting kimchi,” he writes in his blog. “My wife, she doesn’t really get into the smell, but I find it strangely calming.” Feel the same fondness for kimchi? Let us know in a comment below.–Renee Schettler Rossi
LC Really? Kimchi? Note
Kimchi? Really? From a Canadian who transplanted himself to the South and learned an authentic Korean recipe? Shrug. Tasting is believing. And believe we do, both in chef Hugh Acheson and his kimchi recipe. We also believe in the versatility of kimchi. Witness the below ways we prefer to take our kimchi…
stir it into some steamed white rice (and, even better, plop a fried egg atop the rice and dribble with sesame oil)
tuck it into grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, even tacos
mix it into Thanksgiving stuffing or dressing
plop it atop burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, or hot dogs
fry with day-old rice and leftover veggies and meat (try Spam, if you dare)
toss it with popcorn
use it to stuff dumplings or pierogis
scramble it with eggs or tuck it in an omelet
stir it into butter
purée it and add it to a Bloody Mary or michelada (yowza!)
Classic Cabbage Kimchi Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 3 H, 30 M
- Makes 2 to 3 quarts
- 2 large heads Napa cabbage (about 5 pounds)
- 4 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup minced garlic
- 1/3 cup minced ginger
- 1/4 cup hot smoked paprika (pimentón)
- 1/4 cup Korean chile powder (often labeled kochukaru or or gochugaru or Korean red pepper powder)
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
- 1/2 cup fish sauce
- 1/2 cup salted, fermented shrimp, finely chopped (sometimes labeled “brined shrimp,” these tiny, sea monkey-like shellfish are found in jars at Asian markets)
- 2 bunches scallions, white and green parts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1. Rinse the cabbages and then quarter the heads lengthwise. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt over the quarters, place them in a large pot or bucket, and set aside for 1 hour.
- 2. Rinse the cabbage under cold running water, and pat it dry. Cut the cabbage into 1-inch pieces, add them to a large bowl, and toss with the remaining 3 tablespoons salt. Let sit for 2 hours. The salt will draw out moisture from the cabbage.
- 3. Drain off the accumulated liquid and lightly rinse the cabbage. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage with all the remaining ingredients and toss well.
- 4. Transfer the mixture to a large crock, cover it with a lid, and store it in a cool, dark place for 3 days to ferment and mature.
- 5. Once the kimchi is tasting all kinds of yummy, transfer it to jars (we like quart-size jars), cap them, and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. (If, that is, you can make it last that long. If you’re in need of inspiration as to how to use kimchi, see the LC Note above the recipe. Also, kindly bear in mind that the kimchi will get funkier and stinkier as time goes on—and yes, that means it will be more inclined to transfer its smell to other items in the fridge with each day.)
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