Inspired by her mother's mastery in the subject, Dominika discovered her own love for cooking. She soon found the kitchen to be her happy place. Food was a way for her to express herself and communicate with others. After helping her friends run 'Ricos Tacos', a cult taqueria in Warsaw, she spent a few years as a Vice reporter. Following this, influenced by the literary and culinary greatness of Anthony Bourdain, she moved to Scotland to study comparitive literature and expand her kitchen experience. In pursuit of the most complex and emotional flavours, she found herself deep in the world of Korean and Mexican cuisine. Always on the hunt for the best vegan kimchi, Dominika shares with us her favourite ways to have kimchi for every meal of the day!
Kimchi is a staple Korean dish made from salted and fermented vegetables, such as napa cabbage and Korean radish. At Combini we have incorporated it into some of our customer favourites such as the kimchi grilled cheese or the kimchi salad.
The fermented cabbage dish promotes healthy gut flora and is a rich source of vitamin C which can help stave off infections. What's more, when it is done well, kimchi holds an unmatched complexity of flavours. The spiciness balanced by the lactic acid and salt; the sweetness emphasising the richness of ginger and garlic. This makes kimchi an incredibly versatile ingredient, that is a wonderful accompinament to so many different dishes. Of course, Korean cuisine has a wide variety of dishes that use kimchi, such as stews like kimchi jjigae, kimchi fried rice (or noodles), kimchi pancakes and omelettes. In this article we wanted to cover an entire day of eating using kimchi in ways you might not have thought of before.
Kimchi with eggs is one of the most simple and delicious ways to use the ingredient for breakfast. Heat the kimchi up a little bit on the pan, perhaps add a little bit of sesame or rapeseed oil. Then plate it up with a fried or poached egg. One of our top tips is to ensure the egg yolk is runny. This creates a perfectly balanced blend of textures. Finish it off with some chopped spring onions or coriander and some sesame seeds on top to bring the dish together.
If you miss the kimchi grilled cheese sandwiches from CombiniCafe, then this one is for you! You will need some kimchi, your favourite bread (most likely the sourdough that’s been your project over the quarantine), butter and cheese. When it comes to regular cheese, I would recommend a good cheddar. In terms of vegan alternatives, a shredded mozzarella type cheese works best for this dish.
The trick to a perfect grilled cheese sandwich is buttering the bread slices on both sides, you want the cheese to really seep through the bread, and butter will help it happen. This also means you do not want the pan to be too hot, as it will burn the bread before everything melts properly. The rest is simple: put some shredded cheese on the first slice, with some kimchi on top, then add another layer of cheese, before closing the sandwich with the second slice of bread. Pop the sandwich into a pan and press it down with a spatula. Wait until the bottom turns golden brown, flip it, and repeat.
If you want to add an extra special element to this meal, why not serve it with a cocktail? Kimchi makes the perfect addition to a Bloody Mary. It replaces all the spices and sauces you would normally add to the tomato juice. You can either use the kimchi juice or blend a little bit of kimchi for more intensity and texture.
For dinner, we recommend adding kimchi to some of your favourite Mexican foods. It can be a perfect addition to tacos and burritos, it works really nice with avocados and is perfectly complemented by fresh coriander. One of our favourite twists on a classic is a kimchi quesadilla. As with the grilled cheese sandwich, it can be vegan or vegetarian, you can also add some beef if you eat meat and want a heartier meal. Any way you choose to make it, it is super fast and delicious. You can make small quesadillas using corn tortillas or a big one using burrito wrap sized ones. You just have to heat them up briefly on both sides, place some cheese on top, then the kimchi plus anything else you might want to add, and top it off with some more cheese. Fry them on both sides until golden brown and the cheese has melted - a lower temperature may be good for that. One of our tips for this dish is to chop the kimchi in slightly smaller bits than you would usually see, so it is easier to distribute evenly and cut afterwards.
If you feel you want a Mexican themed drink with your quesadilla, a kimchi michelada is the way to go. Since michelada is a pretty open format, you can have it any way you want, but the most straight-forward would be lager, tomato juice, lime and kimchi juice. Just like with the Bloody Mary, you can adjust the intensity and texture by adding some blended kimchi.
We hope you get to try at least one of these dishes! Make sure to tag us in your instagrams, we cannot wait to see you recreate some of these.