Quick Kimchi Salad

Quick Kimchi Salad

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My earliest memories about Korea comes from my junior middle times when Daewoo Motors would be all over Indian roads with their Cielo Sedan and a popular dinky car called Matiz. The entire Indian car driving population fell under either of the two. Then the company went bust and sold off. The next storm of Korean products to inhabit Indian consumer markets were from LG and Samsung home device products. These were much cheaper than the superior Japanese products and pretty flashy too.

However, the Korean cuisine has not been able to make much in roads surprisingly though since most of their vegetables and other ingredients grow easily in India. I guess that shows that they only mean business 🙂 . Anyways, I love to grow lots of pak choi in winters and draw out some interesting Garlic Sauce recipe which I shared earlier. Another more popular one, which is one of my favorite evening munch is the Kimchi Salad. As with all other Korean recipes, it has Sesame written all over it. Do go through this one and enjoy preparing a quick and snappy salad with sesame essence !

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : Ideally 2 but I don’t give any one a chance 🙂
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes max.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Pak Choi / Bok Choy, freshly picked (or packed), 1/2 Kg  : True to it’s green leafy genre, pak choy has good amount of fibre, calcium, iron, protein and carbohydrates. In taste it is quite like cabbage and in looks it rules the sight of your kitchen garden with it’s lovely spouting leaves from the base.
  • Chili Flakes, 1 tablespoon : Dried red chillies have a sharper, earthier essence then the fresh green ones. They are a good source of Vitamin C, A and E hence beneficial for skin and hair.
  • Garlic, chopped finely, 1 teaspoon : The king pungent as I call it, garlic provides the base flavor of this dish. Garlic is highly nutritious. It combats sickness, heals sore throat and regulates blood pressure as well.
  • Radish, 1/3rd cup : Hot Pungent and peppery, the common radish that grows in my buckets in the backyard are great for heart, skin respiration and immunity. They also fight jaundice and cancer, but tooooo much gives me a massive bolt of acidity 😀
  • Carrot, 1/3rd cup, grated : Carrots are high source of iron and anti oxidants and have sweet and earthy flavor. Though I much rather use pickle carrots as in the Gajar Shalgam Gobhi Achaar (Carrot Turnips Cauliflower pickle) but fresh as in salads is also welcome.
  • Ginger, finely chopped, 1/3rd teaspoon : This south asian spice king is a great compliment to garlic. It helps us in getting rid of morning sickness, nausea and muscle pain as well. It’s tea is a widely used generic organic medicine.
  • Onion slices, thin and separated, 2 teaspoon : As in Red Onions for us Indians, strong, acidic and bitter. That’s what a good red onion is supposed to be. They are also good sources of Vitamin C and Iron and are good for hair, skin and help in weight-loss.
  • Soy Sauce, 1 teaspoon : It’s a low cal high antioxidant sauce with several good cholesterols. It has a fine salty taste and is widely prevalent in dishes across south east asia and China.
  • Leek, thinly sliced, 1/3rd cup, 2 inches in length : I grow leek in my garden. It grows super easily in any garden and requires minimum taking care. They are milder and more flavored than an onion. It is also very healthy for blood vessels, bones, heart, digestion, vision etc. I am always inclined to use leek for the sweetness instead of red onions and also the leaves of these leeks. 
  • Oyster Sauce, 1 teaspoon : This has high sodium content and is sweet, salty and has a deep savory flavor. Keep it low if children are to be served your salad too.
  • Sugar, 1 tablespoon : Gets necessary sweetness to the dish adding fibre and aiding digestion too.
  • Sesame seeds, roasted, 1 teaspoon : Sesame improves blood pressure, burns fats and is a good source of iron. It enhances the nutty flavor in the dip.
  • Water, 3/4th cup : Regular tap water to create mild brine.
  • Rock Salt, to taste : Rock salt gave me more authentic grounded essence than the regular table salt.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Was well and chop the Pak Choi in 1 inch to 1&1/2 inch pieces each.
  • Grate the carrots and radish. You may also grate the onions if you want them sleeker and not too prominent in your bite.
  • Leeks to be thinly chopped as advised in the ingredients section.
  • Take a round bowl about 10 inches in diameter and put your Pak Choi in it. Sprinkle the salt over it and add the 3/4th cup water reserved earlier. Mix all well and keep aside for 1 hour.
  • After the hour, drain off the water, wash off the salt water and pat the Pak Choi dry.
  • To this add the grated veggies and toss well to mix.
  • Now add chili flakes, garlic, ginger and sesame seeds and toss to mix again.
  • Now, in a separate bowl mix the soy and oyster sauce with sugar and mix well till the sauce is one (i.e. its a mixed solution with sugar completely dissolved).
  • Pour this over the Pak Choi bowl and again toss well.
  • I repeatedly mention that you should toss well and not use a spoon or a stirrer to mix so as not to break the leaves and spoil the texture. Tossing is fun too 🙂

Storage : You may use it for another snack or with another meal about 12 hours later, but do you really eat salads refrigerated 😦 .

Missing Something ? : I did not bother it much since the entire thing is so nice and crunchy this way. You may sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil to make the essence more authentic.

Pak Choy in Garlic Sauce

Pak Choy in Garlic Sauce

Growing up, I only saw this vegetable across select stalls in the market. Pak choy is not a traditional Indian veggie. Time makes the boundaries go thinner and last year’s winters saw over 200 pak choys in my kitchen garden, sufficient for many meals, snacks and giftings. It is quite a charm to harvest and cook your own meals the organic way. This dish in garlic sauce is a favorite of many at my place esp. my sister for whom I try to cook up goodies myself whenever she visits. With an investment of a few minutes and even fewer ingredients, you can charm your guests and kids with this amazing dish. I cook it up in the evenings for a snack but it is a great accompaniment as a side dish to noodles or fried rice. I can promise you that you can do this one sooner than the time taken to read it’s recipe 😀 !!

 

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2
  • Preparation time : 10 minutes, that’s all

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Pak Choy 250 gms, that’ll be 2-3 medium sized pak choy with leaves and stalks plucked from the base : True to it’s green leafy genre, pak choy has good amount of fibre, calcium, iron, protein and carbohydrates. In taste it is quite like cabbage and in looks it rules the sight of your kitchen garden with it’s lovely spouting leaves from the base.
  • Ginger 2 inches : This south asian spice king is a great compliment to garlic. It helps us in getting rid of morning sickness, nausea and muscle pain as well. It’s tea is a widely used generic organic medicine.
  • Garlic 8 cloves grated : The king pungent as I call it, garlic provides the base flavor of this dish. Garlic is highly nutritious. It combats sickness, heals sore throat and regulates blood pressure as well.
  • Sesame Oil 1 tablespoon : korean dishes = sesame (oil or seeds). It is more of a flavor than a cooking oil here with it’s nutty essence. It is rich in copper, manganese, magnesium and calcium hence being a great antioxidant and skin toner.
  • Refined wheat flour (maida) 1 tablespoon : This provides the viscosity to the sauce yet maintaining it fine texture.
  • Soya Sauce 1 tablespoon : It’s a low cal high antioxidant sauce with several good cholesterols. It has a fine salty taste and is widely prevalent in dishes across south east asia and China.
  • Sugar 1 tablespoon : Gets necessary sweetness to the dish adding fibre and aiding digestion too.
  • Salt to taste : Did you know 90% of dishes are cooked in salt. Am actually amazed that there are 10% others as well 🙂 
  • Water 5 tablespoons : Needed for cooking to soften the veggie.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Heat the sesame oil in a non stick pan for 2 minutes on medium flame.
  • Now add the ginger after chopping it in tiny bits and fry it for a minute.
  • To this add the grated garlic cloves and stir for another minute.
  • Add salt and pak choy leaves in this, set the flame on high and toss around the veggies for a minute till well greased. You can increase the cooking time to 3 minutes if you want your dish well done or if your pak choy is aged.
  • Now set this aside and heat a fresh pan.
  • Cook the flour in it till brown and start adding water & soya sauce in it slowly so as not to form chunks of flour. if they start forming break them with your stirring spoon. Make a loose sauce out of it.
  • To this add sugar, salt and cook till dissolved. Should take around 4 – 5 minutes on medium flame.
  • Now pour this sauce over the pak choy done earlier and serve quickly.
  • Done !! Told you, it’ll be done while your reading is done.

Storage : Cook only as much as you can eat. This won’t store much, refrigeration will spoil the veggie.

Missing Something ? : Slit and deseeded green chillies will be great in the veggie while initial cooking if there are no children to be served. With 4- 5 ingredients, you really shouldn’t try any iterations.