12.282 Blåbärade

Cycle 12 – Cycle 280

14 (Thu) October 2021



by me

at home

-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-

with DJ, IZ

Korean-Swedish Culinary Exchange (18) (see all posts on KSCX)

At the conclusion of our prior exchange, I’d pledged to make ribbestek, while GK would make jeyuk bokkeum.  I have yet to fulfill my end.  Stay tuned.


In the meantime, I present something else entirely.

A lot of Swedish words for food look, to my eyes, kinda cutesy on paper (e.g., blåbär, ribbestek, raggmunk, pytt i panna), though I’m not sure what they sound like aloud.

At a recent visit to IKEA, I was pleased to discover blueberry drink concentrate for sale (also lingonberry, more on that in a future post).  According to the website: “Blueberries grow in many ancient forests throughout the Northern hemisphere. Mix with water (1:4) as a table drink, or use as the base in different drinks.”  We use it to make blueberryade: 2 tablespoons of concentrate + 1 bottle of sparkling water + 1 bottle of lemon-lime soda (e.g., Sprite).

Here, I garnished the drink with a few kyoho grapes, which remind me of big blueberries.


[The comments below are GK’s own words, with minor typographical edits from me.]

I made kimchi yesterday.   As per your suggestion the last time I made kimchi, I made it with tongbaechu (통배추) (whole cabbage) this time.

I had first planned to follow your recipe, but there was no further explanation for the following steps, as well as no suggestion how much cabbage would fit how much paste, so I instead used Maangchi’s recipe.  I did add some beef bouillon powder as suggested by your recipe.

I did go a little overboard with the amount of cabbage though. I bought 7 kilograms of cabbage.  With all the other stuff added it should add up to about 8 kg of kimchi.

With all the other stuff added, it should add up to about 8 kg of kimchi.  I used up all my glass jars and even had to use two plastic containers in the end to hold the finished kimchi.  I will go buy a new big glass container (identical to the one in the upper right corner) next week.

The jar in the bottom right corner is how kimchi used to be sold at Korean markets in the US, when I was young.

Overall it went well.  Let’s see how the kimchi turns out.  I had some fresh kimchi with rice yesterday and that tasted good.


A few comments on GK’s effort:

  • I am reminded that my first attempt at homemade kimchi was GK’s doing.  At the time, I wrote: “Although I could’ve gone a lifetime without ever making my own kimchi, I was shamed into it by reader GK.  Our Korean-Swedish Cooking Exchange started with him making kimchi, which has now become a regular practice, apparently.  Bad enough that I’ve been slacking on the Swedish dishes, but I couldn’t let him outdo me on the Korean cuisine as well” (see 4.172 Ggagdugi).
  • I am reminded that I need to follow-up on my kimchi paste recipe (see 11.144 Kimchi Paste
  • I am ashamed that GK didn’t use my recipe.
  • I am suspecting that the Maangchi recipe, judging by the photo, is way to heavy on the paste, light on the aromatics (e.g., matchstick radish, carrots) (see for comparison 8.205 Mom’s Kimchi).
  • I am astounded by the amount of kimchi that GK has made.  It’s on scale with gimjang, the Korean tradition of making a huge batch of kimchi in the fall to last through the winter (before the advent of modern agriculture, fresh cabbage wasn’t available during the winter).  Even with our family of four, eating Korean food regularly, that much kimchi would last us months.  Unless GK has a kimchi refrigerator, the kimchi will ripen very quickly, so he’ll need recipes of dishes involving kimchi (e.g., kimchi jjigae, kimchi fried rice) (I’m sure Maangchi has many of them).
  • I am wondering if the cabbage might’ve been cut into smaller pieces to fit into the smaller jars.  In making pogi kimchi, the heads of cabbage are cut lengthwise into quarters, stuffed, then left to ferment intact, so that the leaves retains their structure.  Rather than jars, pogi kimchi is better stored in a rectangular box, as long as a head of cabbage.
  • I am curious as to why GK has so many small empty jars in the first place.


Before I get to ribbestek, I’ll make pogi kimchi.


3 thoughts on “12.282 Blåbärade

  1. Great post as always!

    Some notes:

    1. No, I don’t use a different kimchi fridge, so I guess I have to keep up with consuming it. I put a big part of the batch into the fridge immediately (instead of letting in ferment outside for a while), so the process should be a little slowed down for that part…
    2. In retrospect, maybe it would have been better to just cut up the kimchi that went into the smaller containers, but the goal was to make pogi kimchi, so I just tried my best to get kimchi into the containers…
    3. I use the glass containers for storing various food items (homemade kimchi, food leftovers, complete meals etc). My old, plastic containers were getting old (you shouldn’t use old plastic for storing food) and I figured glas would be more durable/sustainable. Additionally, I should get extra “sustainability points” since I have re-used old containers (which used to hold honey/jam/sill etc).

    1. once you use a jar for kimchi, you can forevermore only use that jar for kimchi, because it’ll stink, even if it’s made of glass (i think the smell gets trapped in the lid).

      1. You might have a point about the lid, but I have washed both the lids and jars in the dishwasher after using them for kimchi and then used them for other stuff without any problems so far…

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