In this recipe from Robert Austin Cho, smoking kimchi rounds out its spiciness, turning the fiery Korean fermented side dish sweeter and silkier. This is the technique used at Kimchi Smoke, a barbecue spot with two New Jersey locations. It’s fabulous on smoked meat, on a burger or hot dog, in a rice or noodle bowl, or mixed into chili.
Note: You can also smoke kimchi on a grill or stovetop using soaked wood chips and a smoker box with the heat set on low to medium.
- Heat smoker to 225 to 250 degrees.
- Place kimchi (including all liquid) in an uncovered metal pan and place in smoker. Check in about 15 minutes. Toss when kimchi starts to look gray and limp, or when it has been smoking for 45 minutes, whatever comes first. Continue smoking until all of it starts to look soft and grayish, about 45 to 90 minutes in total smoking time. Remove from smoker.
- Place a cast-iron skillet on the stove and heat canola and sesame oils over medium heat. Add onion slices and sauté for about two minutes. Add the minced garlic and red pepper powder, if using, and sauté for another two minutes.
- Use tongs to transfer kimchi to the skillet, discarding extra liquid. Sauté for another two minutes. Serve hot or cold.
Elisa Ung is a writer based in Northern New Jersey. She was previously the restaurant critic and dining columnist at The (Bergen) Record and northjersey.com, and a staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer.