This Kimchi Pineapple recipe is from Koreatown: A Cookbook by Deuki Hong & Matt Rodbard; Publisher: Clarkson Potter/Publishers; ISBN:078-0-804-18613-1: Copyright; 2016. Permission for republishing of recipe on this blog granted by publisher.
“Kimchi Pineapple is our own invention, and we just have to pat ourselves on the back a little bit for it. When we first made it in the test kitchen, we couldn’t stop eating it – with all its sweetness and acid and spice and tang and funk. It goes incredibly well with grilled meat, on a taco or with a bowl of ramyun. And in general, if you have any leftover marinade, dig through your refrigerator to see what else can be kimchi’d.”
~ Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard
FOR THE KIMCHI MARINADE:
This is what gives the kimchi its guts: a blend of sweetness, heat and brininess. Using a quality fish sauce is important, so we prefer to spend a little bit extra on a smaller-batch Vietnamese brand called “Red Boat”.
MAKES ENOUGH MARINADE FOR 1 POUND OF VEGETABLES (or on this case, fruit)
- ½ cup peeled, cored and chopped Asian pear
- ½ cup coarsely ground gochugaru (Korean Red Chili Powder)
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
Add the pear, gochugaru, fish sauce, garlic, sugar and ginger to a food processor and run till smooth.
FOR THE KIMCHI PINEAPPLE:
- 1 large pineapple, trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup kimchi marinade
In a large pickling jar or lidded container, combine the pineapple and 1 cup of the kimchi marinade, stirring to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. This kimchi will keep up to 1 week, refrigerated—but honestly, it’s not going to last that long.
Following are ingredients and step-by-step photos of this recipe, as demonstrated by Pomai of The Tasty Island:
Left to right: Dole Royal Hawaiian Pineapple (fully ripened), Lucky brand Thai Fish Sauce, KOHA Foods (Honolulu brand) Sun-dried Red Pepper Powder, Korean Pear, (top row) ginger, garlic and golden cane sugar
Lucky brand Thai Fish Sauce (shown with red pepper powder specks in it); I’ve used this Thai fish sauce before, finding it has a nice balance of pungent, savory fermented fish flavor, without being “aromatically harsh” (rancid) nor too salty; as the authors suggestion, the fish sauce is a very important component to making great tasting Kimchi marinade
And? First of all, I learned about this recipe from reader and friend Ken, who owns Koreatown: A Cookbook (among HUNDREDS of other cookbooks). Ken said he’s made this Kimchi Pineapple several times, raving how absolutely ADDICTIVE it is. So much so, he ate each entire batch in one sitting.
Well, after making it myself in this first attempt at making any kind of homemade Kimchi, I have to agree, this Kimchi Pineapple truly is addictive and EXCELLENT! Love it! As the authors describe it, “with all its sweetness and acid and spice and tang and funk”, that’s indeed what it’s all about. That fish sauce really makes all the difference in the Kimchi marinade, giving it that slightly savory component it needs to round out its flavor. Which surprisingly works well with the sweet ‘n acidic Pineapple, as it would with the usual Won Bok (Napa) cabbage Kimchi.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Tacos with Grilled Pineapple-Mango Salsa. Image source: LATortillaFactory.com
My next project using this batch of Kimchi Pineapple will be Tacos, with various fillings in them. Stay tuned for that.