I had a chance to attend a shortened version of basic cocktail training Sam Ross might employ to new bartenders. It was an awesome chance to learn from and get back to the basics of great cocktails with the guy who, through Comme Ca, pretty much helped to revolutionize the cocktail landscape of Los Angeles. Next time you’re in New York, you can visit his and Michael McIlroy’s latest project, Attaboy, in the intimate, former Milk & Honey space in Chinatown. It’s for old world drinking aficionados.
As you’re on the other side of any bar figuring out what to order, you might not need to know that 3/4 oz lemon (or 1 oz lime) balances out 3/4 oz simple syrup in most citrus drinks on the menu. Or that the Old Fashioned on the rock just served to you was actually served “hot,” or short of optimum dilution, so that you’d enjoy it as it mellowed out as the ice melts. It would, however, add to your appreciation of the techniques that go on behind the bar.
Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to the headquarters of CHAM Korean Bistro (Pasadena) and iT! Jeans for a kimchi pickling workshop. We were treated to CHAM cocktails made with sparkling wine, yuzu, Korean Makgeolli as well as tofu rice pockets filled with everything from kimchi (and candied anchovies) to seaweed salad, pepper-encrusted ahi tuna and salted and roasted kale chips. It was a dinner filled with Korean fusion delight.
For the learning portion, we got a demonstration on how CHAM makes their kimchi, with recipes and instructionÂ straight from Chef EJ Jeong (formerly of A.O.C. and BOA). Check Cathy of Gastronomyblog‘sÂ great write-up of the Napa Cabbage kimchi we were all taught to make.
After our appetizers, kimchi lesson and deliciousÂ main course (pork shoulder, cabbage kimchi, salted shrimp and sesame leaves) – we got a taste of a different kind of kimchi, which ended up being my favorite of the night: Persimmon kimchi! The recipe for this is actually the same as the traditional cabbage kimchi, save for the elimination of salted shrimp. It became intuitive that fishy, saltyÂ persimmons are not appetizing. But the subtle and firm sweetness of the persimmon is paired so perfectly with the chili flavoring I’ve learned to love in Korean kimchi. It was like a live, Korean version of the Trader Joe’s dried chili red mangos that are so popular. An interesting tip with this recipe is to use unripe persimmons, because they will actually ripen as they are fermenting in their container and in your refrigerator!
Chef EJ Jeong’s Persimmon Kimchi Recipe
Ingredients: 2 lb peeled persimmons 12 oz kimchi marinade
Kimchi marinade ingredients:1 cup sweet rice powder 5 cups purified water 2 lb radish 4 oz minari 4 oz kat (red mustard) 4 oz Korean chives (thinner than Chinese chives) 5 oz garlic 10 oz Asian pear (peeled) 9 oz onion (peeled) 1 oz ginger (peeled) 1 cup Taeyangcho rd chili pepper powder (coarse) 1/4 cup anchovy fish sauce (Korean) 3/4 cup salted shrimp sauce (Korean) 4 oz fresno 4 oz green onion
Preparation & Procedure: How to make porridge Mix puried water with sweet rice powder, dissolving the power until there are no lumps. Heat the water and rice powder mixture over the stovetop, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. When it starts to form bubbles, reduce heat and stir continuously. Once the mixture becomes thicker and is translucent, turn the heat off. The process from once the mixture is heated to when it becomes the correct consistency and color takes approximately ten minutes. Cool down completely.
Preparation & Procedure Mix together. Enjoy!
Â I’m no hotshot in the kitchen, but I plan on giving persimmon kimchi a try. And if you feel so inclined to get your own kimchi education, CHAM is luckily going to be hosting another workshop on Saturday. You’ll get to take home your own jar of cabbage kimchi so you can leave it in your refrigerator to ferment for at least 20 days before eating. It’s the workshop that keeps on giving!
Saturday, November 20, 2010
11:30 AM to 2:30 PM
$40 per person – includes Korean tapas, a cocktail, and kimchi to take home.
Making Kimchi with Chef EJ Jeong Cham Bistro R&D Kitchen 5251 S. Santa Fe Avenue Vernon, CA 90058