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My last trip to Ithaca Tofu left me beaming, with arms full of Asian goodies and a memorable conversation about how to make Kimchi (with an equally memorable result!). With napa cabbage out of season, and my time quickly dwindling as I switch jobs amidst other projects and begin to (really) plan our wedding in August, I was hell-bent on finding sour, homemade kimchi (my new addiction). So I trotted to Green Castle Korean Market, where friends promised I would find the real deal (listing found here).

My oh my what greatness! This small shop is overflowing with imported goods. I spent a good hour shuffling through the aisles, trying to decipher the various labels and scents. I spent about twenty minutes marveling at the kimchi selection, and the grandmother tucked in the back making the next monstrous batch (see photos below). I picked up a gallon jar for $10.00 (jar included!) along with a huge sack of dried shitake mushrooms, a great pantry ingredient for quick, convenient flavor! 2 3 4 5 6

A huge basket of napa cabbages, soaking in saltwater brine.
A huge basket of napa cabbages, soaking in saltwater brine.
My jar of bursting delight! A potent, mouth-watering blend of napa cabbage, fish sauce and Korean red pepper.
My jar of bursting delight! A potent, mouth-watering blend of napa cabbage, fish sauce and Korean red pepper.

 

Shitake and Kale Soy-Ginger Stir Fry, with Wild Rice

Ingredients

  • Wild rice - 1 cup wild rice
  • Water - 2 cups
  • Shitake mushrooms - 1 cup dried shitake mushrooms
  • Olive oil - 2 tablespoons
  • Onion - 1 onion, sliced
  • Garlic - 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Ginger - 1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
  • Tomato sauce - 3/4 cup roasted tomato sauce
  • Kale - 1 bunch kale, rinsed and coarsely torn
  • Soy sauce - 1 teaspoon
  • Mushroom juice - 1 tablespoon
  • Korean red pepper or Chili flakes (optional) -
  • Garnish:
  • Basil -

Instructions

  1. Rinse the rice. Add to a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. When boiling, cover with a lid and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 30 - 40 minutes, until the rice has fully absorbed the water. Check once or twice.
  2. In a medium bowl, submerge the mushrooms in lukewarm water and soak for at least ten minutes, more if you have the time.
  3. When the mushrooms are soaked, remove from the bowl (saving the juice aside for now). Dice coarsely. Some mushrooms will remain hard - it seems to be a result of the drying process - just discard the hard bits.
  4. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Saute the onions until they are translucent.
  5. Add the garlic and ginger. Saute for a couple minutes.
  6. Add the tomato sauce and simmer, covered with a lid, for about two minutes.
  7. Add the kale, and cover again for about 5 minutes.
  8. When the kale is wilted, add the mushrooms, soy sauce, mushroom juice and red pepper if you want some heat! Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  9. Serve over a portion of rice (about 3/4 cup) and garnish with torn basil leaves.
  10. Leftovers: mix the rice with the shitake-kale stir fry and saute. Serve with a sunny-side up chicken or duck egg on top!
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