Kimchi Risotto

A rainy start to the work week, I wanted to create some new food content as a lot of you have been making several requests as of late. Plus, I've been going through a lot personally, and cooking has always been therapeutic, for me, at least. Eating well never sucks and having others enjoy the food I make results in me being happy, which also never sucks :) So let's talk about this wonderful recipe I tried out - it's nutty, buttery, and tangy with just the right amount of heat, and perfect for a chillier day like today... kimchi risotto! What the heck did I just say?!

Kimchi Risotto

photos by ©  Suzanne Spiegoski

photos by © Suzanne Spiegoski

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1/2c Kimchi juice (squeezed from kimchi)

1/2 Kimchi (minced)

3c Vegetable stock

2Tbsp butter

2 Cloves garlic (minced)

1c Sushi rice

3-4Tbsp Gruyére cheese (grated with a microplane)

Directions:

  1. Squeeze the juice out of the kimchi using your hands to make 1/2 cup of juice and then weigh out 100 grams of squeezed kimchi. Mince the kimchi.

  2. Pour the vegetable stock into a pot and bring to a simmer over high heat. Turn down to low to keep warm.

  3. In another pot, add the lard and garlic and saute until fragrant.

  4. Add the minced kimchi and continue sauteing until the kimchi is translucent.

  5. Add the rice and stir until the rice has evenly absorbed all the oil.

  6. Add the kimchi juice along with a ladleful of hot vegetable stock and stir the rice until most of the water has been absorbed.

  7. Continue adding vegetable stock a ladleful at a time and stirring until the rice is your desired consistency. You may not need all the stock.

  8. When the rice is done, add the grated Gruyère and stir into the risotto. Serve immediately.

I know, initially the idea sounded a bit peculiar. Swiss cheese with kimchi and sushi rice? But the combination of flavors go wonderfully within this dish, and though I've made risottos in the past, I've never tried a fusion recipe of this kind before. And the results were sublime, I'll tell you! One of my favorite dishes is risotto, which would make sense given I'm such a rice girl. But the creamy warm flavors delight my taste buds, as I'm sure they do yours. I love a mean, mushroom risotto, but this kimchi risotto certainly takes the cake! The flavors are really all there, you don't even need to add salt! 

I normally use arborio or baldo rice when it comes to making risotto, but I found sushi rice to be an interesting type of rice to use in this fusion recipe. Though this recipe is derived from here, I did a bit of my own tweaking in terms of measurements and the different use in rice. You could also try using a different form of kimchi, such as turnip/radish, which would still bring the acidity into the risotto. I'd love to give a zucchini kimchi a go, what do you guys think about the sounds of that? 

Here are a few tips to achieving the ultimate risotto: Number one - the broth you use to mix the risotto should be very heat, it better cooks down the rice giving it that smooth, creamy goodness that should be when making risotto. Number two - you can use lard instead of butter should you want a more rich flavor but I like to eat pretty healthy (not that butter is any healthier lol), should you not want to use butter at all, you can try making it with coconut oil! And lastly, when it comes to making your own risotto, try to live a little on the wild side. Mix up the flavors, try something you haven't tried before. Get creative. After all, that's part of the fun when it comes to cooking, am I right or am I right? :) 

LOVE & XX'S,

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Ramen Breakfast Toast

breakfast ramen toast

Every now and again I come across a recipe that completely blows me away. Case in point: Cravings. Christine is a writer/food blogger with a talent in food photography as well. I'm always left inspired after visiting her work, but when I came across her ramen breakfast toast on Beautiful Cuisines on Instagram, I had to re-create it! I've never tried making ramen 'toast' and was extremely curious how this recipe would pan out, let alone how it would taste together with all the different flavors. And oh boy, let me just say - they invented #foodgasm specifically for this toast. 

breakfast ramen toast

First the latest food trend was all about rice buns, and now ramen toast. And I can understand why. All you need is some salt and eggs to coat the cooked ramen before frying it in a pan (individually) with a little bit of vegetable oil. It was not that difficult to make, though I will say that if you're not that confident at boiling eggs, just be sure to make extra for back-up. To get that nice, soft runny egg, time it at 6.5 minutes. But like I said, it depends on a lot of factors so just put a couple more eggs in for good measure. You'll be good to go!

Breakfast Ramen Toast

Serves 4
Recipe by: What Do You Crave

Photos by: Suzanne Spiegoski // Recipe by:  What Do You Crave  

Photos by: Suzanne Spiegoski // Recipe by: What Do You Crave 

Ingredients:
2 packets instant ramen
4 eggs
Salt
Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup diced tomato
1 small jalapeno, minced
¼ cup diced red onion
1-2 Tbsp. sweet soy sauce*
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 lime
1 avocado
Nori
Chili flakes, optional
Sriracha, optional

Directions:

Make the Ramen “Toast”
Cook ramen noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cool water for about 15 seconds.
Whisk together two eggs with a little salt and carefully mix in noodles.
Divide noodles evenly into 4 ramekins or bowls. Use plastic wrap to press noodles into bottom of the bowls and help hold shape.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Make the Soft-boiled Eggs
Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil then reduce to a gentle simmer.
Carefully add in 2 eggs, one at a time, with a slotted spoon.
Cook for about 6.5 minutes for a soft, runny yolk and set white. Use a timer!
This takes practice to get right and sometimes you may find you need to adjust your cooking time to get it just right. I would recommend cooking a few extra eggs at different increments just to test it out.
Remove eggs with spoon and place into an ice bath to stop cooping process. Carefully peel and set aside until ready to use.

Prep your Toppings
Combine tomato, onion, jalapeno, ginger, and juice from half a lime in a bowl.
Add in 1 Tbsp. of sweet soy sauce and taste test before adding more. Not all soy sauce is created equal, some are saltier than others.
Mix to combine and set aside.
Slice avocado however you see fit and use the other half of the lime to prevent it from turning brown.

Cook “Toast” and Assemble
In a large non-stick pan heat a thin layer of vegetable oil over medium heat.
Carefully plop noodle “toast” out into pan. I’d do one at a time.
Cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until lightly crisp and golden.
Top each toast with nori, ¼ of the avocado slices, ¼ cup pico de gallo, and ½ of a soft boiled egg.
Serve with chili flakes or Sriracha and enjoy!

In the recipe there's a delightful homemade pico de gallo (I always manage to sting my fingers after chopping up jalapeños ha ha) with a nice heat to it. Adding thin layers of avocado brings a creamy buttery sensation to the mix. And the seaweed combined with the soft boiled egg? It's tastes a lot like regular ramen noodle soup, but without all the slurping and with varied textures. For more spiciness, add Sriracha sauce and red pepper chili flakes. I totally loved making this dish! And it's not just for breakfast, you can have this for lunch and dinner too!

breakfast ramen toast

I can't wait to do my own twist on the ramen breakfast toast. There's so many ways to make it! You could use kimchi, sausage, radish, and other breakfast-like toppings. So glad I was able to work with a recipe first that not only was had me try something new, but more especially, discovering new tastes in flavors. Thanks again, Christine for such an awesome recipe! I could have waited and done my own creation on this idea, but this one was too good not to share! To see more of Christine and her overall super star-ness, go check out Cravings now!

breakfast ramen toast

LOVE & XX'S,

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