Last weekend it snowed for two days straight here in Northern Colorado (and yes, our tomato plants are now dead). So, after eating so many springy meals, I wanted a spicy, sinus-clearing soup. I didn't have any kimchi on hand but I did have all of the basic ingredients that become kimchi hence the title of this recipe. I imagine you could add some gojuchang if you miss the funkiness of truly fermented kimchi, but I didn't think of it until just now. Also, I realize it's Cinco de Mayo today, but you don't need another margarita recipe from me, do you?
Of course, now I'm wearing shorts again, but surely this soup will come in handy for someone out there, sometime...
Imitation Kimchi Stew
1 teaspoon peanut oil
4 cups chopped green cabbage
1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks
6 scallions, sliced (green and white parts)
4-5 radishes, cut into matchsticks
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon Sambal Olek (or to taste)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
8 cups water
1 small block firm tofu, cubed
8 oz. mung bean sprouts
In a Dutch oven or stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the cabbage, carrot, and radish and cook, stirring constantly, until cabbage just begins to soften (about 5 minutes). Add the scallions, cilantro, Sambal, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic, and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Add the vinegar and water, cover and increase heat to bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, turn off the heat, stir in the tofu and mung beans, and add more Sambal or vinegar if you want. Serve piping hot.