I make this when I don’t have kimchi but I NEED SOME NOW.
I don’t like the kimchi they sell at the market. They either have MSG or are crazy fermented. Neither of those are appealing to me.
Sidenote: I don’t have anything against MSG other than I don’t like the taste. I can taste it. I don’t know about the health claims or what not because supposedly they’ve been debunked. Here’s some science on that .
This is Lobok. It’s a Chinese radish. But Koreans use this all the time. Anytime you see a Korean recipe that uses radish it’s this unless specified as Daikon. They are not the same.
Here are key ingredients that you will need to make Cheat Kimchi. Starting from the left going counterclockwise. 1. Korean brand fine sea salt (this is used for kimchi, I always have this on hand), 2. Three Crab fish sauce (is what I call it, I don’t know if that’s the official name), 3. Salted Baby Shrimp (also needed for kimchi, unless it’s vegan), 4. Korean powdered chili pepper (the bag says powdered but it’s not really “powdered”).
Here I sliced them on a slight bias because the lobok was not that big. Usually they’re about twice the size and for those I’ll just slice straight through. Up to you. I like the finished julienne pieces to be about 2 – 3 inches long and 1/8 inch thick.
I will go through this in a matter of days. All I need is lots of Korean soup. Which I will be going over all next week!
The easiest way to squeeze the salted lobok is to grab a small handful in one hand then cup it with the other hand and squeeze. Imagine making a snowball, that’s how you’ll hold it in your hands. After you give it a good squeeze, give it a few hard shakes while maintaining the hold. You can use a cloth but I HATE using cloths while cooking. It’s such a mess and I hate cleaning.
Best consumed within a couple weeks, at most. Not much longer. Even though it’s called “kimchi” it’s really not because it hasn’t gone through the proper salting stage.
You want to avoid cross contamination. When you’re serving this make sure you use clean utensils to take out what you’re serving and pat down the lobok to a somewhat even layer before storing. You can do what I do for the patting part: close lid and jerk it a few times horizontally then shimmy it around so it’s leveled out somewhat.
Moochae aka Cheat Kimchi
Makes 6 – 8 servings. Takes about thirty minutes.
- 3 lbs Lobok
- 2 T. fine sea salt
- 1 t. (heaping) baby shrimp, minced
- 4 – 5 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T. fish sauce
- 3 T. powdered red pepper*
- 2 t. maple syrup*
- 1 t. rice vinegar (optional)
- 1 T. roasted sesame seeds (optional)
Peel and julienne lobok
Place in big bowl, add the sea salt and mix well. Set aside for 10 – 15 minutes.
Meanwhile mince baby shrimp then the garlic.
After set time, rinse the salted lobok with cold water twice. To rinse, fill the bowl that has the salted lobok with cold water. Make sure there is plenty of water in bowl, use your hand and mix lobok around in water. Strain out lobok and rinse again.
Squeeze lobok into the same bowl.
Add all the ingredients and mix well with hand.
Store in an airtight container.
I like to chill this first before serving. Or if it’s a kimchi emergency, just eat as is. 🙂
* Fish sauce: start with 1 T. and add more if it tastes bland
Powdered red pepper: start with 2 T. and add more if you want it spicier
Maple syrup: start with 1 t. and add more if you want it sweeter