Sunday, December 6, 2015

Vegan Kim Chi

It was my third attempt to make kimchi, the first one was too dry, the second one was too salty and I ended up throwing it out, which was disappointing waste of time...I did not give up though, my third attempt gave me a vegan kimchi that rocked my socks off!

So what was different?
1. I was a bit more informed, I read the book Wild Fermentation, which is a great intro book, well written with a lot of recipes.  I realized the mistakes I made:
- Too much salts inhibits the growth of the microbes, where as just the right amount kills off the bad bacteria, and lets the microbe flourish.
- In the book, the author indicates to use a weight to press the top down and submerge the veggies under the protection of the brine....My wife orderd the "Crazy Korean Cooking" plastic bpa free jar specially for making kimchi as an internal lid that is able to press the vegetables down.  The author also cautions of chemicals that may kill the good microbes I chose to use braggs liquid aminos instead of fish sauce.
- The next problem is that I had trouble finding the recipe that sounded right and traditional elements there and could be adapted to vegan.  Most of the vegan recipes I saw where either too simplistic or two complex. I looked at a few different recipes and made some modifications. 
- I used rock salt this time instead of fine salt which is much more saltier.  I watch my salt so I choose a low salt option 1/2 cup is just about right, the book says that it should be refreshing salty to taste but not overly salty, so I did the taste test.

So here it is:
Step 1 - Get the cabbage ready
2 Napa Cabbage
1/2 cup rock salt
Slice cabbage in quarters  cutting off the thick base step as a triangle.
Chop in very big chunks, as otherwise you won't have much of that nice leafy texture which you want.
Let soak overnight with a weight on it.  I used to containers, one as a weight for the other one, and the top one with another weight on top.  Half way through you can put in one container and put the weight on it too I found. After done, the cabbage should be able to wilt and bend until the end and then snap, which is exactly what mine did.  If it does not bend it is too underdone, if it goes all the way then it is overdone. I did not rinse the cabbage with salt as I tasted it and it did not seem to salty without rinsing it.  You may want to let it sit for a few minutes and drain just a bit, I have the paste ready by the time I do this, as you probrably do one some of the salt as part of the fermentation process to inhibit bacteria growth.

Make Porridge/Gue ready
1/2 cup water with 1 tablespoon sweet/glutinous rice
1 tablespoon sugar

Get the paste and veggies ready
1 cup julienne radish & carrot each
2 bunches spring onions and/or 1 leak

Grind the paste together with the apple and the gue
1 inch ginger
1 medium onion
8 cloves Garlic
6 heaped table spoon korean chilli powder, add some fresh chilli too if you like.
1/4 cup liquid amino
1 apple skinned

Mix, let it sit, put inner lid or fitting plate on top so kimi chi is not exposed to air or use specialized jar.  Leave it for 5-7 nights.  Check on it daily to release air (press down the inner lid to get rid of air).


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Zen on top of the mountain

Full Moon Meditation
Picture by Hartwig HKD
Reflecting on this awesome zen proverb: "The only Zen you find at the top of the mountain is the Zen you bring with you", it pretty much sums up the way I feel about spiritual fads at the moment...

People think that they can to holy sites, chase teachers/gurus to get enlightened, learn from books, preach loud words and find some sort of lasting peace of mind...when all they find is what is in them already...good or bad...I found this out in an ashram in India the hard way...sitting there meditating, frustrated at myself!

Sure these things can inspire you, can lead you down the right path...but hey progress takes a lot of grit, persistence, and patience if you want to try to get good at anything.  Easy come, easy go they say, what is earned with sweat and blood stays...

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Truth converges!

Full Moon Meditation

I just came of a emerging manager course and I was very pleasantly suprised that much of it is based on working inwards out.  Almost all of the theory presented directly correlated to spritual, eastern and martial arts traditions.

It seems that truth converges...although there are often many ways of doing things wrong, the right way seems to transcend applications, systems and cultures...they gravitate, surface and are proven by science and observation of repeatable results.

The core was personal mastery of one self first, then influencing others, then influencing teams and then finally influencing the entire system...but it all centers on the central, your awareness, your courage!  You cannot work the otherway round, it just not authentic and it will not give you the conviction, energy, and strength of character that leaders display.

These are some questions I thought were important that I am reflecting on as a result of the workshop:

What are our clear are they, would you like to change them?

What is our purpose in clear are they,  do they drive you or do you get distracted?

How well do we really listen...can you see current reality through the feedback from others or the situation, do you have the humility to handle the truth?

How do you adapt...can you recongnize and change thinking that is self limiting, do you grow over time as a result?

How do you respond in situation and are you really clear on your you focus on things that you really want in life or get carried away in the moment and how can you change this?


Friday, January 2, 2015

The real deal is hard to find...

I see it all the time, mindfulness is wonderful, meditation is wonderful, tai chi is wonderful, yoga is wonderful...and yes! These are all wonderful for mind body and spirit but only if you do it the right way, long enough and under the instruction of a skilled practitioner!

There are too many people jumping on the bandwagon offering services, books & dvd based on promises that they cannot deliver portraying themselves as experts. Beware the false prophets who profit from ignorance! Then there are people subscribing to these practices superficially even under skilled practitioners.

Any one of these takes years to start and even longer to master under a skilled teacher. What hope does one have if there one is studying under a novice teacher, studying superficially or studying with no guide at all out of books and DVDs...

The real deal is hard to find yet if you want to save yourself some money and even more importantly time (which is not recoverable) you are better off thinking through your own motivations and doing a bit of research to find the right teacher and practice worth dedication too...