When life gives you cabbages... make Kimchi 🥬
Kimchi is a traditional Korean pickled dish created from salted, fermented vegetables, usually cabbage and radishes. Its unique kick comes from a paste made of chilli powder, garlic, ginger, red pepper and sugar and, commonly, its recognisable tang from fish sauce.
Wait - "fish sauce"?!
That's right - NOT ALL kimchi are plant based. Seafood is used because it can add a deep, briny flavour, elevating the umami sensation. But does this means our green-er kimchi is boring? Of course not!
In the plant world, kombu is usually used in vegan kimchi as the natural flavour enhancer. As a nutritional powerhouse from the sea, it also has the salty flavour which is no less than other seafood. What makes it even better is it's perfectly safe for those who are allergic to shellfish. Kombu is high in iodine which is essential for thyroid function. Consuming vegan kimchi means you are actually getting even more nutritional benefits from this already-healthy-as-heck superfood.
Tangy, spicy yet refreshing
Kimchi is a perfect condiment to combat the summer heat. I recently launched my first 100% low-sodium vegan kimchi.
Kimchi Dumplings. cabbage puree.
Secret Ingredient to my kimchi
We've heard the phrase - "Cooking with love". There is an invisible energy that transpires from person into the food being prepared, and impacting the people who eat it.
Potato chips. kimchi pearls.
So back to kimchi, it has always been the first item that I've wanted to launch since I started operating my kitchen. After learning my clients' feeling from my food as therapy sessions, and experiencing delicious and Instagrammable dishes but dishes that nourish people's soul.
When making my kimchi, I always start with introducing myself to my ingredients. Share that I have heard the surrounding and hope and through my kimchi I want to help my clients find their solutions. And that's my secret ingredient!
Only by cooking food in a happy mood will you be able to radiate positivity and turn each meal more nourishing. I encourage my clients to share their wishes with me during their order. As long as they are a good cause, I will always include in my kimchi meditation.
Interest in learning on fun fact about Kimchi?
Koreans eat more than 120g kimchi every day. That's close to 26kg per year.
Ingredients (Yield 11 buns)
- 1/4 cup Warm Water
- 3/4 cup Warm Almond Milk (I used Orasi)
- 34g Fresh Yeast
- 690g Bread Flour
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 2.5 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 3 tbsp Vegan Butter
Mango Salsa Dressing:
- 1 Mango, ripped
- 1 Lemon Juice
- Pinch, Salt
- 1 tbsp, Agave
To make the bun:
- To the bowl of a stand-up mixer, with the hook attachment, pour in the warm water, milk and fresh yeast. Allow to stand until activated and foamy, about 5 minutes
- In another medium bowl, whisk together the bread flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
- To the stand-up mixer, slowly add the bread flour mixture. And then pour in the melted butter. Continue mixing on the lowest speed for 8 minutes. During this time, the flour should pull away from the bowl and become a cohesive dough. Remove it to the bowl and cover the bowl with a clean towel. Place it in a warm place until it is doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Punch the dough down and transfer it to a lightly floured countertop. Using a rolling pin, roll it out so it's about 1/2 inch thick. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, stamp out as many bao buns as you can manage.
- Fold the rounds over into a moon shape, like a taco. Lightly roll them using the rolling pin, flattening them slightly. Allow them to proof on the counter for about 15 minutes.
- Find a saucepan that fits your steam basket. Fill it with a few inches of water and place it over medium-high heat. Add a round of parchment to them bottom to the centre of the steam basket (this will prevent the bao buns from sticking!)
- Remove the steam basket from the saucepan and add 3 or 4 bap buns. Place the top on and transfer it to them saucepan. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the bao buns are puffy and soft to the touch. Remove from the parchment and set aside. Repeat with the remaining bao buns.
- Keep in a 100 °C oven to keep them warm while cooking the rest.
To make the filling:
- Peel off the potato skin and shred the potato to thin sticks
- In a mixing bowl, add salt, white pepper and kimchi. Mix well
- In a pan, warm up your pan and add 1 tbsp oil.
- Add 1 tbsp of the batter into the pan. Slight press to make it like a patty, Pan fry until golden-brown.
- Prepare a tray covered with kitchen towel. When the patty is ready, place the patty on the tray and let the kitchen towel absorb the excess oil.
- Mango Dressing - In a blender, scoop out the mango meat and add the remaining seasoning into the blender and blend well. Place the mixture into a squeezy bottle.
- Bao Buns - Within the bao taco, add your potato patty with a spoonful of kimchi.
- Bao Bun is served!
Soulistic is a vegan brand created by Chef and Food Therapist, Tiffany Lau (@soulhookedonfood), as a platform to educate customers about healthier diets over medication by providing products and experiences that create change from within. Read about her story and what led her to start Soulistic here.