Adapted from a Maangchi recipe
In addition to my main dishes of japchae and bulgogi, I made several Korean vegetable sides. I am new to Korean food, but I made some changes to the original recipe. I had bought some garlic chive stem (aka scapes) for a dinner that didn’t happen and I thought to uses them for my Korean dinner.
When I found this recipe for non-cabbage kimchi, I decided to replace the grass-like garlic chive leaves of the original recipe with them. Other adaptations I made were to reduce the amounts of fish sauce (from ½ cup) and sugar (from 1 tablespoon). The last change I made was to reduce the amount of Korean Chili pepper flakes—gochugaru—down from 1 cup for one pound of vegetables!
Note: When I went to the Korean market I was not able to find gochugaru. It was only after I looked more closely at my recipes that I realized my mistake. I was looking for a small jar of spice—like the ones for Japanese shichimi. The Koreans buy their chili pepper by the pound—I should have been looking for a big bag. Fortunately, I found that I had bought some on spec several weeks ago.
Karl’s Garlic Chive Stem Kimchi
1 lb. garlic chives stems
⅓ cup fish sauce (use soy sauce for Vegan)
1 Tbs. AP flour
¾ Tbs. sugar
2½ Tbs. Korean hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
½ of a medium-sized onion, sliced thinly pole to pole (about ½ cup)
2 Tbs. toasted white sesame seeds
1. Rinse off the stems.
Note: I first learned about this vegetable while living in China. There the name was translated to me as “stem.”
2. Trim off ⅛ inch off of the dry ends of the stems.
3. Cut the stems into 2 inch pieces.
Note: Trim off the flower buds at the top of the stem. While they are edible, I find them too chewy.
4. Place the stems into a large bowl and pour the fish sauce over them.
5. Mix the stems with your hands to coat them with the fish sauce.
6. Re-toss the stems every few minutes to redistribute the fish sauce and marinate them for 30 minutes.
7. Make a thickener by heating one cup of water mixed with one tablespoon of flour over a medium heat.
Tip: Whisk the flour into the cold water. This prevents the flour from cooking into lumps before it is thoroughly mix into the water.
Note: The original recipe used sweet rice flour with the option of AP flour.
8. Once the flour and water starts to thicken, add the sugar and cook for one more minute.
9. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool completely.
10. Place a strainer over a bowl and drain the chive stem.
11. Do not discard the fish sauce, it will be added back later.
12. Place the chive stem in a mixing bowl and add the thickener and the Korean pepper flakes.
13. Mix to coat the stems with the sauce and let them rest for 20 minutes.
14. Add the onions, 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds, and the reserved fish sauce to the bowl.
15. Toss to mix and let the chive stem marinate for at least one hour.
Tip: Marinate for three days, on the counter, for the best sour kimchi flavor.
16. Transfer the kimchi to a serving bowl.
Tip: You may garnish with some fresh sesame seeds.