How To Make Kimchi Sauce Easy

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Kimchi, the fermented Korean staple, is a flavor bomb enjoyed worldwide. But did you know its tangy, spicy brine can be transformed into a versatile sauce? Kimchi sauce adds a kick to everything from noodles and rice to grilled meats and dips.

This guide dives deep into the world of kimchi sauce, exploring its ingredients, different variations, and easy preparation methods. We’ll also unveil the nutritional content of this flavorful condiment.

Korean street] Gangnam Kimchi Sauce (g) - Hot & Sweet Chilli
Korean street] Gangnam Kimchi Sauce (g) – Hot & Sweet Chilli

The Star Ingredients

Kimchi sauce is all about capturing the essence of kimchi in a concentrated form. Here’s a breakdown of the key players:

Kimchi: The heart and soul of the sauce. Choose your favorite type, whether it’s napa cabbage kimchi (the most common), radish kimchi (sweeter and milder), or a combination. Just be sure it’s well-fermented for maximum flavor.

  • Gochugaru (Korean Chili Flakes): These vibrant red flakes bring the heat. Adjust the quantity based on your spice preference. You can use smoked gochugaru for a deeper flavor profile.
  • Fish Sauce: Adds a salty, umami depth. Opt for a high-quality brand for the best results.
  • Garlic & Ginger: Aromatic powerhouses that balance the heat and add complexity. Freshly grated is best, but pre-minced will work in a pinch.
  • Sugar: A touch of sweetness helps round out the flavors. You can use white sugar, brown sugar, or even honey.
  • Other Flavorings (Optional): Soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, or Korean pear juice can be added for additional depth and complexity. Experiment to find your perfect combination.

  • These are just the essentials. Feel free to get creative and personalize your kimchi sauce with additional ingredients like shallots, green onions, or even a splash of fruit juice.

    The Road to Deliciousness: Two Ways to Make Kimchi Sauce

    There are two main approaches to crafting kimchi sauce: the quick and easy method and the slow and simmered approach. Both deliver delicious results, so choose the one that suits your time constraints.

    # The Speedy Kimchi Sauce (Blender Method)

    This method is perfect for whipping up a batch in minutes.

    1. Gather your ingredients: Roughly chop 1 cup of kimchi (discard any large stems). Measure out 1/4 cup gochugaru, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon each of grated ginger and garlic, 1 teaspoon sugar, and any optional flavorings you choose.
    2. Blend it up: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth. You can adjust the consistency by adding a little water or kimchi brine if it’s too thick.
    3. Taste and adjust: Have a little taste! You might want to add more gochugaru for heat, a squeeze of lime for brightness, or a pinch of salt for balance.

    Tip: For a smoother texture, strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve.

    # The Simmered Kimchi Sauce (Stovetop Method)

    This method allows the flavors to develop and mellow slightly.

    1. Prep work: Finely chop 1/2 cup of kimchi, discarding any large stems. Mince 1 tablespoon each of ginger and garlic.
    2. Sauté the aromatics: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
    3. Introduce the kimchi: Add the chopped kimchi and cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
    4. Flavor builders: Pour in 1/4 cup gochugaru, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar, and any additional flavorings you’d like. Stir well to combine.
    5. Simmer and adjust: Add 1/4 cup of water or kimchi brine (depending on desired consistency) and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
    6. Final touches: Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. You can add a squeeze of lime or a pinch of salt for balance.

    Tip: For a thicker sauce, simmer for a longer time or add a cornstarch slurry (1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water) towards the end.

    Unveiling the Nutritional Content of Kimchi Sauce

    Kimchi sauce is a relatively low-calorie condiment, but its sodium content can vary depending on the amount of fish sauce used. Here’s a general breakdown per tablespoon:

  • Calories: 10-15