Tuesday, January 25, 2011
What exactly is Kimchi? It can be many different things to many people. Generally it is a fermented Korean dish made of vegetables and spices. Napa cabbage, onions, radishes, cucumbers, garlic, green onions, chile powder and salt are typical ingredients. These vegetables and spices are mixed together and left to ferment for varying lengths of time. The results are a funky, spicy and sometimes hot dish that is used as a condiment. It just so happens that we have a Korean acquaintance that generously gifted a jar of home made kimchi to our pantry. It sat in our refrigerator for a while because I had really no idea what to serve it with. Kimchi burritos have been the buzz in the local food rags and it sounded intriguing to me. What the heck!
Some thinly sliced beef short ribs were marinated in soy, ginger, garlic and honey. They then were grilled over a hot mesquite fire. This would be the protein for our burrito experiment. Thinly sliced carrots, cilantro sprigs and some avocado would accompany the kimchi and grilled beef. The ingredients were rolled in a fresh flour tortilla.
Kimchi has a very distinct funky odor. It can be a little off putting if you are not used to it. The first bite into our burrito was a flavor explosion. The marinated short ribs were yummy, rich and delicious. The kimchi cabbage was crunchy, a little sour tasting and salty. The pepper heat was not overpowering but a welcome compliment. This condiment was a good balance to the rich and flavorful meat. I now understand why Kimchi burritos are the talk of the town. They are a non traditional flavor treat. I am now a Kimchi convert. I am looking forward to trying it with some other dishes.