if you are anything like me, you made a kazillion jars of kimchi last season. your eyes were bigger than your belly as it were. or maybe you only made one or two, but found that you didn’t dip into them as a matter of course and here you are in march with a couple-few jars giving you the cold stare every time you open the fridge. or worse yet, they got the fizz. the fizz is that carbonated sensation that tickles your tongue delightfully when attached to a fruity beverage, or spring water even. but kimchi? not so much.
here’s a soup that is much greater than the sum of its parts. it’s 1-2-3 easy and the end result is beyond delicious. plus, it makes no difference if made with freshly made kimchi – or one that’s got the fizz. it is the reason why i never worry if i’ve gotten myself into a kimchi making frenzy in early summer or fall. because i know in the late winter months the jars will disappear quickly with this satisfying and very flavorful soup.
adapted from how to cook everything vegetarian
- 1 quart kimchi, drained
5 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (that’s the dark one)
4 shallots (or 1 bunch scallions, 1 very large leek white part only, or 1 large yellow onion) sliced thin
1 block firm tofu (15 ounces) cut into 1/2 inch pieces
dash of chile paste or powder, optional
rice wine vinegar* optional
3 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
12 cups water
- serves 4
- add 4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil to a deep and wide-bodied pan, when warm add shallots and fry for 2-3 minutes until transparent. add the tofu cubes, fry for another 3 minutes, tossing gently. if your kimchi is not hotly spiced you can add a bit of chile powder or paste here. my kimchi is always spicy so i don’t add any additional chile to my soup.
- add drained kimchi, fry for an additional 2 or so minutes, until heated through. add the soy sauce and 12 cups water, bring to the boil. lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- stir in the final tablespoon of toasted sesame oil, and additional soy sauce to taste.
i like to make a pot of rice on the side, and add a few tablespoons of it to each bowl upon serving. done this way the rice retains it’s composure and doesn’t go all soft in the pot. also good is piling rice high in the bowl, barely cover with soup and place a fried egg on top of that.
*by the time i use my kimchi for soup it is quite sour, so i never have to add vinegar. but if you’re making this soup with freshly-made, or otherwise less sour kimchi, add a tablespoon or two of rice wine vinegar to add a bit of pungency.
shizzles with picklz: a here and there series exploring the salty sides -
i’m talking about the best pickle pairings (and just because it’s damn fun to say)!