Trail RecipesBy Akira Suzuki
Packaged Rice Miso
Among the favorite foods of people in Japan are certain kinds of Japanese pickles. The fermentation process creates a unique flavor and smell which turns some people off, while others become hooked instantly.
One of my favorite pickled dishes is Korean kimuchi, consisting of cabbage, radishes and various vegetables mixed together with a tougarashi (spicy red pepper) paste, giving it that extra kick. It’s great with alcohol or just eaten on top of white rice.
(Place cabbage into boiling water, allowing it to boil up momentarily. If onions and green onions are on hand, cut finely and add as well.)
This month I’ll introduce a quick-mix using kimuchi as the base. Although carbohydrates are great when you’re feeling low on energy, sometimes it’s best to also add in something to jump-start your body. The tougarashi in kimuchi will not only get you up and running, but it will also warm you up from the inside.
(Add packaged rice or pre-gelatinized rice and cook until soft, followed by adding soy sauce, miso paste or a consommé to taste.)
The mix includes rice, giving you that carb boost, and making this the perfect dish for when your tank is running on empty. As a bonus, tougarashi contains three times the Vitamin C found in lemons, to boot.
Because this is a kimuchi- based soup, it’s great even without the rice. Additionally, should more ingredients be available, this can quickly transform into a “nabe”-style dish suitable for all occasions.
Using pickled foods in soups is also common in Germany; for instance, sauerkraut-based soups are a personal favorite of mine. You may also find it interesting to know, that when taking pictures in English-speaking countries, people often say “cheese,” but in Korea it’s “kimchi.”