I know, I know. Kimchi isn’t cooked. It’s pickled.
But what if you want the flavors of kimchi and don’t have time for the fermentation process? That’s how I came up with this dish. I thought about kimchi: cabbage that ferments in a brine including chilies, garlic, ginger, green onion and other ingredients.
I minced some garlic, ginger and onions, then mixed it with sriracha hot sauce. I added soy sauce because it is salty and made from fermented soy beans. To add to the fermented flavor, I used a little bit of fish sauce. (Some regions use salted anchovies or shrimp.) I also added some rice vinegar for more acid and because it too is fermented.
I briefly cooked some cabbage (regular green since I didn’t have napa) in a hot pan with just a little water to soften the leaves, but maintain crispness. Then I added it to my sauce, which I wanted to leave uncooked to keep the sharpness of the onions and garlic. I sprinkled on some sesame seeds and let the whole thing cool.
It’s not quite kimchi, but it worked well with the kogi-style beef and lettuce cups we had for dinner. The next day I made some more kimchi-flavored cabbage and ate it hot over rice.
Cooked Cabbage Kimchi-Style
- several leaves of green or napa cabbage, torn into large pieces
- at least 1 tablespoon sriracha (or red chili paste)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- few sprinkles of fish sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced or pushed through a garlic press
- at least a teaspoon of grated ginger
- 1 large green onion, chopped
- sesame seeds
In a small bowl, mix all ingredients besides cabbage. Taste and adjust as necessary.
In a very hot pan or wok, cook cabbage quickly by adding half a cup of water to the pan. Stir cabbage around to steam. This should only take about two minutes.
Take off heat and toss cabbage with spicy mixture. Allow to cool completely and serve with Korean BBQ. Or eat hot over rice.