Saturday, September 21, 2013

Kimchi Soup

More adventures with kimchi!

I looked at a bunch of different recipes and then mostly worked off of this one, because it struck me that the addition of a little miso and mirin might help compensate for the lack of pork in my (vegetarian) version.

I made a lot more than the quantity in the recipe (as usual) and added a bunch of CSA veggies (also as usual!) that just needed to get eaten.  I think this would be lovely as a simple brothy soup, so I'm not necesarily exhorting anyone to do the veggie-packing thing, but my fridge has a truly intimidating stockpile in it and CSA day is coming around again soon!  (That said, this tasted very nice with the additions.)

So I know that all of my soups basically look the same in photos (warm-colored broth with veggies and tofu floating in it?  Again?).  But this taste is completely new for me and just amazing.  The kimchi mellows in the soup, and although I added plenty of Vietnamese chili-garlic sauce (not having any Korean chili powder on hand), the flavor was bright and tangy and not too burn-y for my timid (but improving!) tastebuds.

There, I think that is a record use of parens even from me.  So!  The Soup!

8 cups water
2 cups kimchi
1 onion, chopped
5 tsp chopped garlic
1 bell pepper or large, mild hot pepper, chopped

1 small eggplant, cut into dice
1 package extra firm tofu, cut into dice
Whatever other veggies you need to use up, if any, chopped - zucchini, mushrooms, any greens...
3 TB butter
3 TB miso paste
3 TB mirin
1 TB soy sauce
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Ginger paste
Chili sauce or powder, or Sriracha, or what-have-you
4 sliced green onions

1.  Start by sauteeing onion, garlic, and green pepper in 2 TB butter.  When they soften, add kimchi (leaving behind its juice for now), eggplant, and other firm veggies.  Sautee a few more minutes, then add water, kimchi juice, miso paste, mirin, and soy sauce.

2.  Once broth gets to boiling, taste, and add ginger paste and chili sauce to taste, plus more miso/mirin/soy sauce (and/or salt) if needed.  You'll probably want one 1 TB or more of chili sauce.

3.  Boil until eggplant is nearly translucent, then add (1) any leafy greens that just need a little cook time, and finally (2) tofu, green onions, last TB butter, and lime juice.   Taste and adjust flavors again, and serve with rice.

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