Homemade Kimchi (version 1.0)


1 head of napa cabbage (about 2 and 1/2 to 3 pounds)
1 pound of radish, cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup sea salt
1 and 1/2 cup water
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of ginger, minced
3 stalks of green onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes, or 2 tablespoons of cut-up fresh chilis
2 tablespoons sugar


Chop up the cabbage into bite-sized pieces, and cut up the radish into medium-sized thin sticks. Mix together in a bowl.

Dissolve the sea salt into water. Pour over the cabbage and radish.

Let sit for at least 2 hours, mixing occasionally.

Drain the vegetables, but keep the liquid. Add the garlic, ginger, green onion, red pepper flakes, and sugar.

Mix well for several minutes.

Put vegetable mixture into large seal-able containers. Leave about 1 inch of space from the top. Pour salt liquid over the mixture until the liquid just covers the top of the mixture.

Seal the containers and keep at room temperature in a dark, dry environment. Leave for 1-3 days (depending on how fermented you like kimchi). After bubbles start appearing in the liquid, or gas starts pushing the container lid upwards, the kimchi is ready to be stored in the refrigerator.

Hot and Sour Soup (with Hand-cut Noodles)

What happens when your gas runs out for your gas stove? One answer is that you could find out how to use your rice cooker in more efficient and variety-filled ways than you ever have before. Our version of this, was to make Chinese hot and sour soup. The soup can be optionally served with hand-cut noodles, which I’ll also describe how to make below.

10 cups water
about 1/2 kilo of ground beef, pork or chicken
large bowl of cold water
3/4 cup dried Shiitake mushrooms
1 and 1/2 cups lettuce or Nappa cabbage, chopped into slivers
3/4 cup dried orange flower (optional)
1/2 cup dried Chinese wood ear mushroom (optional)
4 slices ginger
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
red pepper flakes or rooster sauce
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons corn starch, mixed in a little cold water
2 eggs, beaten
a bit of green onion (optional)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
salt to taste
1 cup carrots, cut into slivers (optional)
1 cup bean sprouts (optional)
3/4 cup bamboo (optional)
3/4 cup baby corn (optional)
1/2 block of tofu (optional)

Soak the Shiitake, the orange flowers, and the wood ear mushrooms in the bowl of cold water. Let sit for half an hour.

Chop up the lettuce, ginger, garlic, and any other vegetables.

Bring the 10 cups of water to a boil in the rice cooker. Stir in the ground beef. After stirring briskly for several minutes, the meat should break apart into pieces.

Pour in the soy sauce, sesame oil, and vinegar. Mix in the sugar.

Chop up the wood ear mushrooms into large pieces, and cut the Shittake into slivers.

Mix all of the vegetables into the pot. Let cook for about 10-15 minutes.

Pour in the beaten eggs, stirring the pot while pouring. Then mix in the red pepper flakes and white pepper. Add salt to taste.

Serve the soup on top of hand-cut noodles. Sprinkle a bit of chopped green onion on top.

Hand-cut Noodles
(if you only have one rice cooker, pour your prepared hot and sour soup into another pot, and wash out the rice cooker pot in order to cook the noodles)

2 cups flour
1/2 cup water

Stir and knead the flour and water together until a dough is formed that’s not too firm and not too soggy. Add extra flour or water as needed.

Knead the dough for another 2-3 minutes. Then split the dough into halves.

Roll out a half into a large, flat piece. Sprinkle flour over it generously.

Fold the flat piece into thirds. Then cut up the piece into slivers. Unfold each sliver. The result should be long noodles.

Boil a pot of water. Throw the noodles into the pot while boiling. Do not overfill the pot with noodles.

Stir slightly while the noodles are cooking, so they don’t stick to each other or to the pot.

After 10 minutes of cooking, take the noodles out of the pot. Serve immediately. For more noodles, use the other half of the dough, or save the other half for leftovers.


Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

10 cups water
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Chinese rice wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 2-cm cubes fresh ginger, cut into thin slices
5 garlic cloves
3-4 whole star anise pieces
1 kilo beef, cut into chunks
2 onions, cut into small chunks or thin slices
4-5 carrots, chopped
2-4 portions of egg noodles
1 chili pepper, sliced (optional)
cooking oil
5 stalks of green onions, chopped
10 fresh cilantro stalks, chopped
Chop up all the vegetables (except the green onions and cilantro) and beef.
Sear the beef chunks in hot cooking oil for about 1 minute. Combine the beef (and residual meat juice) with water, soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, star anise, onions, carrots, and chili in a large pot.
Let simmer on very low heat for at least 4 hours. For best results, cook in a crock pot overnight (about 8 hours). Beef should be very tender. Salt to taste.
In a separate pot, cook the noodles.
Chop up the green onions and cilantro.
Drain the noodles. Serve by pouring beef soup over the noodles and removing the ginger and star anise pieces. Sprinkle the green onions and cilantro on top.
Version 1.0 (B.A. -- before Andrew)

Version 1.0 — pre-Andrew version, made in my first year in Israel



Version 2.0 -- you can see the large ginger slices (which are not for eating, unless you're a hardcore Asian, which we are not although Andrew does come close)

Version 2.0 — you can see the large ginger slices (which are not for eating, unless you’re a hardcore Asian, which we are not although Andrew does come close)



Version 2.1 -- with hand-cut noodles, but that's for another post

Version 2.1 — with hand-cut noodles, but that’s for another post

Jennifer’s First Post: Mold Fighting


So we have a few projects going on here, one of which I’m particularly excited about. This winter has been particularly hard on us health-wise, as we were both sick for about a month without stop. We just couldn’t get over the coughing, the aches, throat pain, stuffy noses and sinuses, and headaches. Around the same time, we found some black mold growing on our walls, in certain corners of the house. Then we found more mold, and then more. We’d spray it with bleach, and in a week or so it would come back – sometimes in full force (like a resistant strain or something)…

So I found out online, that there are a few natural ingredients that you can use to get rid of mold in your house. Particularly, vinegar is helpful with this, and also baking soda. What happens when you combine the two together? Well, it starts to fizz like crazy, but it also becomes a (purportedly) excellent mold-killing solution. It’s because vinegar and baking soda both can kill mold on their own, but they each kill different strains of mold. When you combine the two together, you can target a broader range of mold types. Vinegar by itself can tackle about 84% of all mold species out there.

I made a combination of 1 tablespoon baking soda with about 1 and 1/2 cups straight-up apple cider vinegar. Most websites suggested using white vinegar, maybe on account that it won’t stain. However, we have a large stock of apple cider vinegar left over from trying to treat our throat bugs, so I figured I’d try it on the mold bugs in the wall. We’re also particularly treating wooden panels, so the color of the ACV actually won’t make a difference here. After mixing them up (and watching the FIZZ, which did not die down at all while I was using it), I dipped a sponge in it and coated the walls thoroughly with the mixture. The other thing that’s great about this concoction is that it can penetrate porous materials such as wood and certain ceramics, and attack the mold at the roots. You’re supposed to leave the mixture soaking in for about an hour. … I’m going to leave ours overnight, and see what happens.

One last thing that I’m a little worried about is that the ACV I got (which had 7% acidity, the highest I could find in the store) also contains a little sugar and honey. We can get trails of ant sometimes when we leave out sweet or sticky foods, so I’ll have to wait til tomorrow to see if our walls have turned into giant panels of swarming ants or not. Hopefully not.

EDIT: IT works!! Mold is disappearing from the panels, and there haven’t been any ants :D. Also, the vinegar smell is almost gone now. The only thing is… after a lot of fizzing, the vinegar and baking soda eventually deactivate each other. Which means that you can’t store the stuff — I tried to reuse the mixture the next morning, and it was no longer fizzy or acidic. So it’s better to mix it up and then use immediately.