I love kimchi... No, I really love kimchi. We're really lucky in Regina—we have an amazing kimchi brand called Baechu Kimchi. The maker is a Thai woman named Atidthan Sangsawang, and she makes three great varieties: Baechu Original, Extra Spicy Kimchi (my favourite, of course), and Vegan Kimchi. I always keep two jars of this kimchi in my fridge... I love to have some as a healthy snack if I'm craving anything salty (usually just with chopsticks straight out of the jar), in kimchi fried rice, or with a soft-boiled egg for breakfast.
I was craving a soup tonight... there's something about being home all day (and for the foreseeable future) that makes me crave a nice, spicy soup. If I was being unhealthy and naughty, I'd definitely crack open a bag of one of my favourite extra spicy Samyang noodles. But, in the spirit of being healthy, I went a different route tonight, and damn, I'm glad I did. I based my recipe for this Spicy Baechu Kimchi + Chicken Soup very loosely off this recipe from Bon Appetit.
I started by heating some sesame oil in my pot, then adding a sliced carrot, scallions, and fresh minced ginger to it. I lightly fried those until they got nice and golden, then I added 6 cloves of sliced garlic to it, and a generous seasoning of salt and fresh ground black pepper. After frying the garlic lightly with everything else, I deglazed the pan with white wine, being sure to scrape up any crispy bits from the bottom of the pan.
After letting all the white wine evaporate I added a few tablespoons of gochujang and fried it up nicely with the vegetables... then I added a couple of tablespoons each of fish sauce and soya sauce.
Then I added my broth! I used a homemade chicken broth that had a bunch of pulled chicken already in it. I like to make a nice, aromatic broth every time I roast a chicken, then keep portions of it in my freezer—it works perfectly for meals like this. After bringing it to a simmer, I added a handful of dried shiitake mushrooms for (even extra) umami. I then covered it and let all the flavours infuse together for a good 30 minutes.
Once it was ready, I added a few ladles into my bowl, then I scooped in a couple of spoonfuls of leftover rice, and a few big tablespoons of Baechu Kimchi. I finished it off by adding a couple of splashes of my newest flavour of hot sauce: Grapefruit Hibiscus. It's a super spicy ghost pepper hot sauce and it pairs so well with literally everything. Don't let the name of it fool you... it adds a brightness to every food, but it pairs so well with everything.
What do you think? Will you be trying this soup at home? Let me know below in the comments. While I'm not one for following recipes or measuring, I added the quantities to the best of my abilities for y'all below!
Spicy Baechu Kimchi + Chicken Soup
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 medium carrot, sliced
6 scallions, chopped
1 thumb size ginger, minced
1/4 cup white wine
3 tbsp gochujang
2 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
4 cups chicken broth, with chicken
handful of dried shiitake mushrooms
3 tbsp baechu extra spicy kimchi, for serving
2 tbsp leftover rice, for serving
splash of pueblo chili co. grapefruit hibiscus, for serving
salt & pepper to taste