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!
- 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) -
- Basil -
- 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.
- In a medium bowl, submerge the mushrooms in lukewarm water and soak for at least ten minutes, more if you have the time.
- 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.
- In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Saute the onions until they are translucent.
- Add the garlic and ginger. Saute for a couple minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce and simmer, covered with a lid, for about two minutes.
- Add the kale, and cover again for about 5 minutes.
- 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.
- Serve over a portion of rice (about 3/4 cup) and garnish with torn basil leaves.
- Leftovers: mix the rice with the shitake-kale stir fry and saute. Serve with a sunny-side up chicken or duck egg on top!