Kimchi Quties

The New Must-Have With Your BarBQ

1. Kimchi is the famous fermented/pickled cabbage that is a staple of the Korean table. Korea is also famous for its taste for barbeque. There’s a whole cornucopia of other stuff; but, hey, you got Wikipedia and Google for that.

2. Plain old white bread is a staple BarBQ accompaniment in all parts of the good old US of A.

Add it all up…we took the hint. Introducing Kimchi Quties: The perfect side for your next BarBQ.

(When we are saying BarBQ, we are most certainly talking about smoked meats. Grilled things will work, but long cooked smoked meats is what we were aiming for with our Kimchi Quties.)

Once there was a place on Lexington Avenue in the 80s (1980s and streets 80s) in Manhattan called the “Texas Barbeque”. We were friends with the owners. They were Korean. The thing we liked to do was to make a noisy entrance and bellow “Ya-Hoo, give me some of that Texas Barbeque!” Our Korean friends would smile politely. They could not be persuaded to give the phrase proper, full throated voice. A timid trial only, barely under their breath. No irony served in that joint.

Because they were Korean, there was kimchi. Not for the regular customers, for the family. They were also Rolfing clients, so we got some kimchi every now and then. If you know from kimchi you know in a traditional Korean family there is probably not a meal were kimchi is not served. Also, the world is your oyster kimchi-wise. The variations of types and variation for each type go on and on.

The Kimchi Qutie below is a rounded eye take. But one that any native born Korean, we are sure, would happily gobble up.

The thing about the Texas BarBQ was that the Korean folks there could not be persuaded to feature kimchi on the menu. Straight conservative Texas style all the way over there.

So now the other shoe has dropped, and we finally have a kimchi based item to go with your Q.

A Kimchi Qutie is a grilled white bread sandwich with kimchi in the center. Our original has a thin layer of béchamel (mayonnaise, if you must) on one side and a thin layer of spicy mustard on the other. (Martha Stewart: Honey, if you don’t have some homemade mustard on hand, then some imported Dijon mustard. But only the best; but we know you will anyway.)

We recommend so-called Texas toast style thick sliced white bread. It stands up to the moist kimchi filling. And, after all, it is a proven approved item for BarBQ. If there is a Texas toast in potato bread, that would be tops. But, thick sliced packaged white bread may itself be scarce in some parts. If the baker has it, get a pullman loaf (square when sliced) and slice it to the thickness you like.

So here is the recipe for the Kimchi itself. We have been making this stuff for a while so trust the amounts. After a first batch you can proportion to taste. And, remember, there are tons of kimchi recipes out there; so, as we said, it’s your oyster. (In fact there is a recipe out there that includes oysters.)

Time start to finish: 2 Days

One pound Cabbage
     Shredded medium thin

Chinese Napa Cabbage is traditional, but we are suggesting regular old head of white cabbage for the Kimchi Qutie. It gives homage to Cole Slaw, that other must have BarBQ side dish. And has a little more crunch.

One pound Daikon or Korean Radish
     Thin short julienne cut

— Place prepared Cabbage and Daikon in 4 cups of water (to cover) with 2 Tablespoons Salt. [Salt brine ratio is 2 Tbls. Kosher Salt to 1 Quart Water.] Alternate: Sprinkle 1 Tbls. Kosher Salt of vegetables; let them sweat overnight, then drain (setting liquid aside).

NOTE WELL: Use Kosher or pickling Salt (no Iodine). Spring water (no Chlorine), or boil water to remove Chlorine. Iodine and Chlorine inhibit/prevent fermentation.

— Mix thoroughly and let stand 12 hours, overnight. Stir a few times during.

— Drain Cabbage/Daikon, saving brine aside.

Mix in the following:

6 large Scallions
     Sliced thin on the diagonal
Fresh Ginger 1” piece, or smaller (your pinky tip as a guide)
     Very thin julienne slivers (or finely minced)
1 Garlic clove
1 T Korean chili powder***
1T Korean chili flakes***
1 tsp. Salt

Combine all ingredients.

Place in deep narrow vessel/bowl or large glass jar, leaving space on top (The kimchi will increase in volume due to fermentation. So, push it down. Be sure to protect against overflow. )

Pour enough brining liquid to cover.

Place something to weigh vegetables down (a sealed plastic bag with enough brine to make a weight, or a glass or plate or anon-reactive metal something from around the kitchen), under the brine. Fermentation is anaerobic; i.e., no air.

Cover loosely with lid or cheese cloth.

Let sit on counter for 24 hours.

It’s ready to eat. Gets more sour day by day. 

When you have it at the taste you like ...

Store in refrigerator. Chilling slows fermentation.

Note: The recipe above is for a mild kimchi. The degree of sourness/fermentation is a matter of taste. It will continue to ferment over the next 2-3 days if left at room temperature. Keep an eye if you leave it longer than 24 hours. Taste test for how you like it. Be sure to tamp it down into the brine every so often. Store in the refrigerator. It will continue to develop, but slowly, under refrigeration. It's a living thing, remember. Very good for the digestion. The traditional Korean approach leaves it buried underground in sealed vats over the winter months. They let it go long. Very piquant.

For the Kimchi Qutie…

As stated above, Texas toast (thick) bread slices , a thin layer of béchamel/mayonaise and a thin layer of spicy mustard. Drain kimchi and stuff 1/2 cup or more between bread slices. Toast well buttered in pan (panini, if you got it) over medium heat. Slice cutely, and serve it with some righteous ribs.

Ya-Hoo! Give me some of that Texas Barbeque!

And, pardner, be sure there is a nice generous plate of Kimchi Quties. OK, cutie?

***We strongly recommend Korean chili both powdered and flakes. They know chili. A little harder to find, but clearly worth it. We won’t even hint at substitutes.

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