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Can’t Find It? Grow It Yourself

November 1st, 2012

Last year I started making kimchi and Mr Chiots and I LOVED it. The only problem was, I couldn’t find the Korean peppers to use, so I used my homegrown cayennes. Since I couldn’t find any, I decided I’d just have to grow them myself.

I ordered seed for Korean Chili Peppers from Baker Creek last fall and almost forgot about them when spring planting time rolled around. Luckily, I remember just in time and I ended up with 10 beautiful plants. They produced quite prolifically and I ended up with a bounty of both red and green peppers.

The red ones I have been drying and the green ones I’ll probably pickle, but I may dry them as well (depends on how much time I have). Yesterday, I finally got around to mixing up my first batch of Kimchi and I can hardly wait for it to be done.

Why do we eat kimchi? Because it’s full of all kinds of healthy goodness with the garlic, ginger, onions, cabbage, peppers and probiotics. It boosts the immune system and helps keep us healthy all winter long. I’m really excited to try this batch with real Korean peppers, the week can’t be over soon enough!

Have you ever grown an ingredient specifically for one recipe?

My kimchi recipe is now posted over on Eat Outside the Bag.

16 Comments to “Can’t Find It? Grow It Yourself”
  1. Anita Watson on November 1, 2012 at 6:04 am

    Could you please post your recipie?? It looks really good and I have never made it before, but have always wanted to try it. Thanks!

    Reply to Anita Watson's comment

  2. Marina C on November 1, 2012 at 6:16 am

    I grow a funny looking tuberous vegetable called crosnes, Stachys Affinis, also known as Chinese. Look it up on the Internet for some great pictures.I had not eaten it since I lived in France and a gardening friend of mine gave me some she grew in NC. Their season is short, but they are so carefree! I am about to harvest hem as s soon as the ground dries a bit. They look like beige little Michelin men, about 2″ long, and are delicious after a wash and a gentle scrubbing steamed and sautéed, or in salads. I bet they would be lovely and crunchy pickled. If you want some, I will gladly send them to you. I replant 12 tubers after harvest in a 4′ x 4″

    Reply to Marina C's comment

    • Susy on November 1, 2012 at 7:22 am

      That’s a fascinating vegetable that I’ve never heard of. I’d love to try some.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Marina C on November 1, 2012 at 6:19 am

    Your peppers look a lot like the Kung Pao peppers I could not find a seedlings for last year… I just don’t have a suitable basement space to start my own… but may have to address that to expand my choices! What are yours called and where did you get the seeds from?

    Reply to Marina C's comment

  4. kristin @ going country on November 1, 2012 at 8:15 am

    I have not-entirely-fond memories of my dad’s smelly kimchi he always kept in the refrigerator when I was young and he was vegan. I was not motivated to try it.

    I grow jalapenos just to make salsa. I don’t eat them otherwise, since I don’t like spicy stuff.

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  5. Melissa on November 1, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Those look a lot like the Thai Chiles I grew last year. If I’d known you were looking for some, I’d have mailed them to you- had them coming out my ears– 2 plants were incredibly prolific!

    Reply to Melissa's comment

  6. goatpod2 on November 1, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I LOVE kimchi but I’m Korean though!


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  7. sharon on November 1, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    someone gave me red and green and I put thn ina pretty boles and vinegared so easy!

    Reply to sharon's comment

  8. KimH on November 1, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    This kinda cracks me up.. Yes.. I grew okra specifically for fried okra. ;) I wont do anything else with it… though I love pickled okra, I can buy it.. but I cant buy homemade fried okra. And that stuff you get at chicken places or any other commercial place isnt like what comes out of my skillet. ;)

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  9. judym on November 1, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    We grew okra this year – did it years ago. In my freezer now! Nothing like home-grown fried okra! With roots in the deep south, I planted some black-eyed peas for the first time this year. Hard time finding them in the catalogs. I am really on the hunt for purple hull peas, So far, my transplanted cousins in the north get them from the cousins in the south! Maybe that’s the way to go. I’m looking to plant more greens next year, too. I do plant peppers for my home made salsa but the tomatoes didn’t cooperate this year due to the drought. Oh well, there’s always another gardening season!

    Reply to judym's comment

  10. Norma on November 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I have my thai chilli in a pot on a warm verandah and the one plant has been producing chillies for over 10 years. At one stage it was almost 6 feet tall and looking straggy, so I trimmed it back to 2 feet and it shot and still bears enough for my uses. It looks mostly like sticks in winter, but the stem stays green.
    I like to grow parsley, planting it at the very start of autumn for soups every lunchtime in winter. I always say to my family that this handfull of chopped parsley in every soup, keeps the colds away. Has worked so far! I live in a temperate zone.

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  11. La on December 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Question about kimchi itself; I just made a batch, and it fermented pretty vigorously, and actually pushed the brine out of the jar. I only noticed how much bring was out when I went to seal it yesterday for storage. The whole time it was fermenting (4.5 days), the jar kept the cabbage submerged, except for a few little corners. It smells great and the bit of brine I tasted is nice and sour/spicy (with a little bit of fizzy tingle), should be ok to eat right?

    Reply to La's comment

    • Susy on December 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      Yep, OK to eat. It often pushed a lot of brine out of the container. Check and see if it needs any brine to top it off before moving to the fridge or the top layers of kimchi might discolor a bit (still OK to eat, they’ll just brown a bit).

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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