One of my favorite fundraisers here is Hilo is the Hilo Products Produce Box Fundraiser. For a $25 donation, you get a huge box full of local produce. In this particular box, I got Hamakua mushrooms, eggs, papaya, romaine lettuce, bok choy, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, ginger, green onions, Kamuela tomatoes, bananas, and eggplants. I didn’t get a photo of the box since I shared it with my mother-in-law before taking it home.After getting home, my fridge was full of awesome, fresh produce. In particular, I had napa cabbage/Chinese cabbage in abundance. I like to make soups and salads with this cabbage but I had more than I needed for a soup or a salad. Plus, the box had ginger and green onion that I could also use for kimchi, so I settled on making kimchi.
I remembered that my friend Jeanne Hosaka gave me a recipe for Chinese cabbage kimchi many years ago that was a hit with my family. Kimchi is so easy to make. Just wash the kimchi, chop it into kimchi sized pieces (some people like to pickle it whole, but for space considerations, it is easier for me to chop it up), and add the seasonings.
Jeanne’s recipe calls for 1/2 cup of Korean chili pepper flakes (kochugaru), 3/4 cup of sugar, 1 T salt, 1 T ajinomoto, 6 cloves minced garlic, a bunch of chopped green onions, 3 fingers of minced or grated ginger, and 10-12 pounds of Chinese cabbage. I use patis instead of ajinomoto and I like it with a little less sugar. Adjust the seasonings to your palate.Just mix all ingredients together and let it sit for a while. If you like fresh-tasting kimchi, you can eat it that same day but I think the kimchi gets tastier if you soak it longer. I enjoy kimchi as a condiment with so many dishes–not just Korean dishes. Enjoy! Living Hilo Style.
Note: Brandon Bartolome from Hilo Products (41 Makaala Street) mentioned that he is planning on starting up a weekly CSA produce box. I love these types of deliveries that support our local farmers and get us eating local fruits and veggies. I currently subscribe to Da Box from the Hawaii Food Basket that keeps me stocked with local products like papaya, banana, ginger, ulu, sweet potato, lettuce, broccoli, zucchini, lychee, longan, and so much more. Stay tuned for more info about the Hilo Products CSA boxes. Here are some links to blog post of dishes I made with some of my Food Basket CSA produce.