March 18, 2013 | Technique, Vegetables
Have you noticed how foods trend? One trend in the past year or so has been Korean food – I think it all started with that Korean BBQ food truck in California a few years ago. And along with Korean food goes the fermented condiment called kimchi (kim – chee). It couldn’t be more simple – fermented cabbage with seasonings – or more difficult to do perfectly. Well, I’ve always had this sort of global improv theme to my cooking, and I always figure with the right ingredients and a general technique, you can get close enough. And this spicy condiment is the type of thing I need to keep things interesting while I’m following the carb cycling program (the results of my first week are in the update below).I found lots of recipes online for quick versions of kimchi that didn’t need to ferment for so long, but they all called for napa cabbage, which is thinner like lettuce. I happened to have instead 3 small heads of cabbage from my CSA farm – two traditional green, one that I can’t really identify. They’ve been in my refrigerator all winter long, and I just keep peeling off the outer spoiled leaves, but have yet to make anything with them. And then the idea of kimchi came to me.Most quick kimchi recipes seem to start with a short soak in salt – like 2 hours – followed by a rinse and quick mix with the seasonings, and then it’s ready in just a couple of hours. I figured to get through the really tough green cabbage it was going to take longer, so I dusted the shredded cabbage with several tablespoons of salt, and let it pickle overnight in the refrigerator.The next day, after thoroughly rinsing the salt off and ringing the cabbage dry, it still didn’t seem as soft as I envisioned it was supposed to be. So I added my seasonings all into a large pot with the rinsed cabbage and heated it just slightly for a few minutes to begin to soften it. Then I let that stand for an hour before packing it into jars.I’m not quite sure what I’m going to use it on yet, but it seems like a flank steak with Korean style seasonings, sliced thinly and served with a small dollop of the kimchi to add crunch and flavor over some brown rice might be the perfect dish for a high carb day meal. Here’s the recipe, but if you’re interested in the carb cycling nutrition plan I’m following, don’t forget to scroll down to see the results of my first week on the plan.
- 3 pounds thinly sliced green cabbage
- 4 tablespoons kosher salt
- ½ cup rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons red chile flakes
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 8 large garlic cloves, minced
- Combine cabbage and salt in a large bowl on the counter; let stand 2 hours, turning it with a fork every 30 minutes. Place bowl in refrigerator and let it sit overnight.
- Remove from refrigerator and thoroughly rinse all of the salt from the cabbage; drain and wring dry. Place cabbage in a large pot with all remaining ingredients and heat over medium, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand, turning ingredients occasionally, for 30 minutes. Pack into canning jars, cover, and refrigerate. May be held for up to a month – flavor will get stronger with time.
Carb Cycling Week One Results
- I never really felt hungry all week, which is the sign of a healthy diet.
- You’re allowed either one cheat day or 3 cheat meals each week (and you’re encouraged to do this outside of your house so you don’t bring tempting foods into the house). Because I had to travel to a wedding and had a big event on Sunday night, I chose to have cheat meals on Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday night. That meant I cheated and had wine too.
- I lost about 2 pounds this week.
- I find it easier to eat the low carb meals – the carbs really fill me up – but I’m trying to be true to the plan in order to get my metabolism cranked up again. On days I was going to have a cheat meal, I followed the low carb plan as I knew my calories for the day would naturally be higher with the cheat meal.
- I only exercised 4 days this week because of traveling to a wedding, but I prefer to get some exercise 5-6 days a week.