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Brussels Sprouts Kimchi Puree and Bacon

Serves: Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • ¼ lb. good quality, smoky bacon cut into 1" to 1½" inch long batons
  • 1 cup Napa Cabbage Kimchi (see below), pureed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup julienned carrots


Napa Cabbage Kimchi

  • 1 small to medium head Napa cabbage, discolored or loose outer leaves discarded
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher or coarse sea salt
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 20 garlic cloves, minced
  • 20 slices peeled fresh ginger, minced
  • ¼ cup kochukaru (Korean chile powder)
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ¼ cup usukuchi (light soy sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons jarred salted shrimp
  • ½ cup 1-inch pieces scallions (greens and whites)
  • ½ cup julienned carrots


Procedures:

Roasted Brussels sprouts tossed with bacon and served upon a bed of tangy Napa cabbage kimchi, by Chef David Chang of Momofuku Restaurant Group.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Remove and discard the loose outer leaves from the sprouts, and cut the sprouts in half through the core.

Put the bacon in an All-Clad 12" fry pan and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally until just about crisp, 5 minutes or so. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve.

Drain off most of the fat from the pan and add the sprouts, cut side down in the same pan. Raise the heat to medium-high and sear until the sprouts begin to sizzle. Put the skillet in the oven and roast until the sprouts are deeply browned, 8 minutes or so, then shake the pan to redistribute them. Pull the pan from the oven when the sprouts are bright green and fairly tender (taste one to check), 10–15 minutes more.

Return the pan to the stovetop over medium heat and stir in the butter, bacon and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the sprouts to coat them.

Divide the kimchi among four shallow bowls. Use the back of a spoon to spread the kimchi out so it covers the bottom of the bowls. Divide the sprouts among the bowls, arranging them in a tidy pile on top of the kimchi. Garnish each with a pile of carrot julienne and serve.

Napa Cabbage Kimchi

We let the kimchi ferment for only a couple of weeks, instead of allowing it to get really stinky and soft. There’s a point, after about two weeks, where the bacteria that are fermenting the kimchi start producing CO2 and the kimchi takes on a prickly mouthfeel, like the feeling of letting the bubbles in a soft drink pop on your tongue. It’s right around then that I like it best. - Chef David Chang of Momofuku Restaurant Group.

Makes 1 to 1½ quarts.

Cut the cabbage lengthwise in half, then cut the halves crosswise into 1-inch-wide pieces. Toss the cabbage with the salt and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a bowl. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator.

Combine the garlic, ginger, kochukaru, fish sauce, soy sauce, shrimp, and remaining ½ cup sugar in a large bowl. If it is very thick, add water ⅓ cup at a time until the brine is just thicker than a creamy salad dressing but no longer a sludge. Stir in the scallions and carrots.

Drain the cabbage and add it to the brine. Cover and refrigerate. Though the kimchi will be tasty in 24 hours, it will be better in a week and at its prime in two weeks. It will still be good for another couple weeks after that, though it will grow incrementally stronger and funkier.

Recipe by David Chang, courtesy of All-Clad.

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