Okay, call me lazy but for this I used the same kimchi paste & directions as my Brussels Sprouts Kimchi. And you know what? It worked. This okra kimchi is really delicious in a very unusual way.
I didn’t ferment this for as long as the brussels because I was concerned about the texture. If you’ve never worked with okra, be prepared. It’s very slimy, see:
It’s also one of the best vegetables a Southern girl can have. It’s high in vitamin C, fiber & antioxidants. It’s also a good source of potassium & calcium. And it’s easy to grow, at least in Alabama in the summer time. Okra likes heat.
When I was 16 I started a tiny garden in my back yard. I would plant tomatoes, yellow squash and okra each summer. I knew then & still no very little about farming. However, good Alabama soil & heat were on my side as were common sense. Each morning I would get up & chop the soil with a hoe & water my plants. It seemed to work as I managed to grow an abundance of the three, particularly the okra. I had new pods each morning & enough that we had our own okra for the household all summer from those plants.
To be fair, I had had practice with tomatoes. When I was 9, my dad bought me 3 tomato plants to plant in the backyard (of a different home). I named them because that’s the kind of special weirdo I am, all my “babies” get names. They were “Wynken” “Blynken” and “Nod.” They didn’t grow as well as the ones I planted in later years but we had a drought that summer. So Wynken, Blynken & Nod suffered from the elements.
As mentioned in my previous post, Brussels Sprouts Kimchi (linked above), the right container is important for fermentation. Kimchi releases gasses as it ferments & bubbles. I was without an appropriate sized container for my okra & attempted to shove it all in this recycled Prego jar. When I opened the jar after 2 days I suffered the kimchi explosion. Stinky, stanky & messy. So, use a much larger container when making yours.
This kimchi tasted sour & funky, for lack of better word. It had kimchi heat & okra slime which may not sound nice, but I promise, if you’re an adventurous eater, it was awesomely delicious. I liked it fresh from the fridge as it still had crunchiness & tasted nice cold. But I liked it best when Mr. FGK cooked it down in bokkembap, Korean fried rice. It was particularly sour after being cooked down but the fresh veg taste of okra was still preserved in the bite.
- 1 lb okra
- 3 Cups luke warm water
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup gochugaru*
- 1 Tbsp ginger, minced
- 4 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp rice flour*
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Cup water
Rinse the okra, trim the ends & cut in 1/4 inch pieces. Rinse the okra then toss in a bowl with salt. Submerge in 3 cups luke warm water. Set aside & let soak at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
In the meantime, heat the rice flour & 1 cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat until thick. Remove the pan from heat & pour into a blender. Add the ginger, gochugaru, fish sauce, sugar, garlic & onion. Puree.
Once the okra has soaked, drain & keep the soaking liquid. Rinse the okra twice more. In a large bowl, add the pureed kimchi paste over each piece of okra. Make sure each piece is covered. Pour the okra into jar or storage container. Pour the pickling liquid over the okra leaving about 1 inch at the top. Seal & store in a dark space away from sunlight for 2-3 days. Once opened, keep refrigerated.
*Gochugaru is Korean red pepper powder.
*Rice flour can be substituted with pastry flour.
Check back tomorrow for more fusion recipes!