Kale Kimchi

Give the hearty green a bit of funk
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To learn more about this recipe, see our related story, "Panchan Drunk," in our San Francisco edition. 

Kale Kimchi

Recipe adapted from Sunhui Chang, Fusebox, Oakland, CA

Yield: 2 cups

Cook Time: 5 minutes


Ice water

2 bunches curly green kale--washed, dried, stalk removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces

2 teaspoons coarse Korean sea salt or kosher salt

1 tablespoon sweet rice flour

1 tablespoon garlic paste (about 5 cloves crushed in a mortar and pestle or with a back of a knife)

One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, scraped and finely grated on a microplane

2 scallions, cut into 1-inch strips

1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced into 3-inch pieces

3 tablespoons finely ground go chu karu (Korean red chile powder)

3 tablespoons coarsely ground go chu karu (Korean red chile powder)

1 tablespoon seau jjot (small salted shrimp, found in the refrigerated section of Korean grocery stores) or fish sauce

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ Korean Shingo pear, Asian pear or a crisp apple, sliced into thin strips (optional)


1. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the kale and blanch until softened, 2 to 3 minutes depending on the toughness of the kale. Remove the kale from the boiling water and add to the ice water. Once the kale is completely cool, remove it from the ice water, place it in a dish towel and squeeze as much moisture out of the kale as possible. Place the kale in a large bowl and toss with the salt.

2. In a small saucepan, add the rice flour and ½ cup water. Place over medium-high heat and whisk until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

3. In a large bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, scallions, carrot, fine chile powder, coarse chile pepper, salted shrimp and sugar. Add the rice powder-paste and mix together. Add the kale and pear, and mix until well combined. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator in a glass or stainless-steel airtight container for up to one week.

Test Kitchen Approved

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