Like the founders of Oh Kimchi, it took me a while to come around on kimchi.
I was a picky eater in general and loathed the idea of sauerkraut, so I didn’t even bother trying kimchi, the immune system-boosting ingredient that nearly every person in Korea eats every day, until just a few years ago. It was OK, but not something I’d seek out. Fast forward a year or two and I started hearing about Oh Kimchi, an Austin company that sells a whole range of kimchis made with local and organic produce.
I met the owners, Abbi and Duane Lunde, at the Barton Creek Farmers Market in November and was blown away by a trio of kimchis I tried at their stall. One was a traditional kimchi made with cabbage, another made with cucumbers and a third — my favorite — with thick leafy greens. I bought a batch and found myself eating kimchi straight out of the jar.
Kimchi conversion complete.
I emailed the Lundes to see if they wouldn’t mind showing me how they make their kimchi so I could pass along their tricks to readers. To my surprise, they didn’t just agree to have me over, they wanted to host a kimjang, a traditional kimchi-making party not unlike a tamalada.
Just before Christmas, a group of us showed up at their South Austin home to made a huge batch of napa cabbage kimchi, but the best part was learning about how the Lundes went from kimchi-haters to kimchi-makers, which is the focus of our lead story today in the food section.
In the story, I also included a basic kimchi recipe from Hilah Johnson of Hilah Cooking, another Austinite with a nostalgic connection to the Korean staple, as well as a few other ideas for what to do with your kimchi once you make/buy it, like this kimchi frittata.
This basic recipe for a brunch-friendly kimchi frittata is meant to be adapted. You could use any type of kimchi, and the more sour and fermented, the better the flavor. Feel free to top with chopped greens, crushed nuts or kimchi juice instead of the suggested toppings.
1 tsp. sesame oil
½ cup chopped napa kimchi, divided
6 eggs, whisked
½ tsp. salt (or salt-brine shrimp)
Nori flakes and toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour sesame oil in a pie pan and swirl to coat the bottom. Place half the kimchi on top of the oil and pour the whisked eggs on top. Top with remaining kimchi.
Bake for 15 minutes, until the center of the frittata has set. Top with nori flakes and sesame seeds. Serves two to three.
— Adapted from a recipe by Abigail Lunde