While I was in college, I worked at Japanese sushi restaurant. Like most Japanese restaurants in the U.S., the place at which I worked was owned and operated by a Korean family. Before each shift, all employees and the owner (who was also the head chef) would sit down for a meal. This meal was usually interesting, sometimes a little strange and always very Korean. It’s not surprising then that kimchi was such a common occurrence on the table. Strange to me at first, kimchi became something I crave quite often. I go through spurts when I eat it just about daily and while I don’t make my own, the store bought variety fits the bill just fine for me.
My favorite way to eat kimchi is simply as a salad topper.
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 t fish sauce
1/4 c kimchi
1/2 T basil, chopped
Dash black pepper
I’m a huge fan of just about any cold soup. Vichyssoise speaks to my soul and any sort of gazpacho is a regular summer craving of mine. With an excess of cucumber in my refrigerator, kindly given to me by Caleb’s mother from their garden, I couldn’t think of a better way utilize the cukes than a summer soup. I’ve been eating a variety of cucumber salads since spring and thought I should change it up. There are so many cool cucumber soup recipes floating around and while they’re all similar, they tend to differ slightly when it comes to flavor and quantity used. After reading over twenty recipes I whipped this up. Like most things I come up with, this is easily altered to suit individual taste; simply add, omit, increase or decrease desired herbs and you’ll have a new concoction. My end result is well balanced and somewhat on the Thai side of the flavor spectrum.
Chilled Cucumber Soup 5-6 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
2 small banana peppers, seeds removed and thinly sliced
2 c plain Greek yogurt
1 T lemongrass paste
1 T basil
1 T dill
1 T mint
In blender or food processor combine half of cucumbers, half of yogurt and 1 pepper. Pulse on high until well combined.
Add in herbs. Combine.
Add remaining cucumbers, yogurt and pepper. Pulse until thoroughly blended.
Chill for at least two hours or until cool.
I chose to serve with a spoonful of coconut milk and chopped canary melon.