Do you like fermented foods? I don’t particularly enjoy them; I think it is an acquired taste which is yet to make itself happen in my gob. They’re just so punchy and sloppy, but I know they are super healthy for you, so I am making more of an effort.
Which leads me to my market failure.
Recently, Chris and I had decided we wanted to sell home-made ferments at the local farmer’s market. What a great way to make money, we thought. It would also be good for us as we both have issues with social anxiety. Anyway, I made some inquiries, hoping to have a table at the first market of September, and we spent the day bashing cabbage and prepping booch. Then I hear back from the market – yes, we can have a table! It is $40 a week, and you need your own table/cover etc. So I’m thinking SHIT that’s a lot per week. She then asks for a copy of my insurance, so I spend a while looking up insurance, the cheapest being $140 for three months. The final hurdle is my trader’s permit. My what? Yes, so I need a bloody permit – this is the same permit needed if I was running a local cafe or something, and it doesn’t matter that we are only planning to spend three hours a week using it. A permit costs about $400 annually, and the City must come to inspect your kitchen every six months. This meant my three month market place attendance would cost $950 – before I even buy my product and the table etc. So you can imagine we aren’t going to have a stall. You can also imagine, that we now have approximately 6L of kombucha and 17kg of sauerkraut. Does anyone want some frickin sauerkraut?
One ferment I had yet to really force myself to eat is Kimchi. I had made it once, and it went off because I can fail sometimes (i know, it seems impossible). Then I found a pot of it from a new line at the shops, and took it home to try. It was salty as balls, and I couldn’t quite force myself to eat it. Chris didn’t like it either, and this guy will eat some weird shit (he’s more into health than taste, so would eat a dumbbell if it had a magic vitamin inside).
Then, while partaking in my instagram addiction (it has worsened now I am unemployed, so i spend hours moping over my appalling follower count), I came across the @korean_vegan account. Now, Korean food has never taken off in Perth. We went through Chinese food, moved to Thai food, then it became a dim sum city, then tapas, and now we are sitting just at “fancy burgers”. I’ve only seen the one Korean restaurant, ever. So naturally I was intrigued by what I saw on her page, and then her blog. But what really caught my eye was a pasta dish that was like a mac’n’cheese but with kimchi. The logic was sound – the kimchi adds an umami flavour that cheese would normally give the pasta. So I made it – without adding salt because my kimchi was SALTY – and then I ate it. I didn’t like it at first, but then by the end I was excited by this new flavour. I fed it to Chris when he got home, and he ended up adding more kimchi, because he liked it now, too!
He also insisted it be called Mac ‘n’ Kimcheese.
I made only a few changes – mainly I subbed 200g of silken tofu for the cashews.
To serve, I added in some sliced purple cabbage, julienned carrot, mushrooms, chopped spinach and I did not add the breadcrumbs.