Mul gimchi has a delicate and refreshing flavor with just a touch of sweet ginger that is balanced by a slightly spicy finish. It has become one of my favorite side dishes and after receiving a container of homemade mul gimchi from my coworker, I realized it was possible to make such a delicious thing at home. A few days later Barret and I had the translated recipe and we were ready to leap into the annals of Korean cuisine.
The first hour was spent mincing all the ingredients while the baby radish leaves wilted under a coating of sea salt and the glutinous rice powder dissolved into a pot of hot water. The operation was running smoothly and the time had come to mix all the ingredients together.
“Barret, I think the water needs to keep boiling.”
“But the directions say ‘cooled’ so we should turn it off.”
“Actually it says ‘cooled boiled’ so keep the heat on.”
“Exactly, boil then cool.”
“No, boil then simmer.”
“You aren’t following directions.”
“I don’t need too. This is like a giant bag of tea and that requires heat. Let’s add more water.”
“We added five cups already.”
“Yes, but I don’t think we are making enough.”
“This isn’t a good idea.”
“This is a great idea.”
The following day we set our full Tupperware container before a panel of judges. With a grimace our coworkers delivered the verdict- too much garlic, too much salt, too many hot peppers, too much water, not enough ginger and the radishes were too radish-y. Even though the mul gimchi was politely pushed back onto our desk, Barret remained undeterred. With the enthusiasm of a man missing all but three taste buds, he poured himself a large helping and happily proclaimed, “I can’t taste anything! Anybody else want seconds?”