Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Searching for Kimchi

A few weeks ago, D and I discovered Oaxaca Taqueria, a restaurant that had opened in our neighborhood in Brooklyn. I was really impressed with the simplicity, freshness, and decor of this place. I especially fell in love with the Korean Tacos made with bulgogi and kimchi. They were tiny, but they were tasty and filling. On our second visit, we asked for extra kimchi because it was so delicioso. We asked the owner where they got their kimchi, and he told us that he got it from a Korean deli just a few blocks away. He couldn't remember exactly where, but he said that the deli has the pre-packaged industry kimchi, but they also sell one that they make right there on the premises alongside the manufactured kimchi. I went to the corner he said he thought the deli was at (5th and Carroll), but the owner disavowed making her own kimchi; she also disavowed the fact that there were any other Korean delis in the neighborhood! Off I went to another Korean deli one block over at Garfield and Carroll. No homemade kimchi. 7th and Carroll--nope. 7th & Garfield--bingo! The unassuming containers of kimchi sat on the shelf and the cashier had to ask the owner in the back how much the containers were. I took 2 for $3.99 each because we go through an entire container in one sitting.

We're desperate to figure out how to make our own, but no online recipes work out well, and I don't know anyone who's willing to share their favorite recipe. A colleague of mine has a roommate who started Mother In Law Kimchi based on her MIL's restaurant in LA--the company has been pretty critically acclaimed, but they don't sell in some of the key Trader Joe's, which has some of the best pre-prepared bulgogi I've ever tasted. Unfortunately, MILK doesn't market itself very well, and despite the fact that the kimchi is very good, the website offering it for sale is horribly designed and misleading. Nor do I think the owner would share her recipe with me.

We served the kimchi with TJ's bulgogi over some organic jasmine rice. Definitely one of our favorite dinners.

No comments: