Thursday, March 13, 2008

Kimchi pork. Cabbage kimchi and mother's love

Other than mild and warm wakame soup (Beauty Soup), seems that I can't get away with the "spice" factor when it comes to Korean food. Noodles or wontons and dumplings in a quick-fix Korean-based spicy broth works well for me, just as spicy seafood Korean tofu stew.

When I got those megapacks of kimchi from Costco Asia, Taiwan I know I will be in for more quick-fix tasty dishes. Stir Fry Kimchi Pork is definitely one of them. A savior when you are in a rush or dead tired to cook anything fancy, as this Kimchi Pork can be ready in less than 15 minutes.

Just kimchi PLUS pork, easy peasy ?

Stir Fry Kimchi Pork
Ingredients: Korean kimchi (baechu kimchi: cabbage kimchi) and thawed thin pork slices (option: A. use pork thin pork strips; B. substitute with chicken)


Directions: Lightly marinate/season pork with cooking (rice) wine or sake if you have. Heat up 1tbsp oil in frying pan. Add in pork slices and fry quicky. Then add in some kimchi, mix and fry well; and add some water to let the pork + kimchi simmer(low heat) for a few minutes. When the pork is cooked (turns color), turn off heat. Serve immediately. Good with steamed rice.


Note: You can also add gojuchang (Korean miso paste with chili) to the recipe and adjust the ratio of kimchi:gojichang accordingly to the level of spice and saltishness at your desire.

I did not add any more seasonings but this dish will not be bland tasteless if you know kimchi well (kimchi comes seasoned). You get a little spice in the pork, yet a dish not totally stripped off the natural sweetness/flavor of meat. Kimchi does not overpower and adds the finishing touch. A simple combination that works wonder.

In a blink, you will venture into cabbage at Weekend Herb Blogging, this week with Green Olive Tree, getting close to the "heart" of kimchi. Though you might have seen many variants of kimchi, using select vegetables such as cubed radish, scallions and cucumber, the earliest form of kimchi consisted of only cabbage, known as baechu kimchi.

The making of kimchi is integral in Korean tradition and culture. In Korean traditional homes, a bottle of base-seasonings for kimchi can be passed down for many generations - from great-grandmother to grandmother, to mommy then to daughter. Thus in Korea, a classic bottle of kimchi is made from a "marinade of mother's love" and since it is passed down generations, it has becomes a holding link of family love. Some even describe kimchi as a representation of mother's love because in the tradition of making baechu kimchi (cabbage kimchi), women will stroke each cabbage leaf with seasoning/marinade, and then allow the entire cabbage mixture to age and marinate. The act of stroking has been equated to a symbol of love - just like how a mother lovingly strokes her child. Isn't it sweet to know that little representative culture behind the vegetables you are eating?

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