Quick Scallion Kimchee

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Although the classic long-fermented cabbage-based kimchee is fairly easy to make, it does take time. This version with scallions is ridiculously simple and ready in a day or two. I learned how to make it from my friend Russell, a Los Angeles–born cook whose Korean mother made it throughout his childhood. Russell serves it to accompany perfectly steamed rice and simple grilled fish, a lovely combination. I like it chopped and stirred into a bowl of brothy ramen-style noodles, or tucked into a ham sandwich.

Ingredients

  • 4 bunches scallions
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • ¼ cup Korean red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Method

Trim the scallions and cut into 3-inch lengths. Put them in a glass or ceramic bowl, sprinkle with the salt, and let stand for 10 minutes.

Mix together the garlic, sugar, ginger, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, sesame seeds, fish sauce, and rice vinegar. Add to the scallions and toss well to coat.

Lay a plate over the bowl and leave in a warm place (at least 70°F) for 24 hours. Or, for a stronger-tasting kimchee, let ripen for up to 72 hours. It will keep for a month, refrigerated.