Grape Tomato ‘Quick Kimchi’
This is not a traditional kimchi, but it approximates the flavor profile, bypassing a lengthier fermentation and instead relying on vinegar. In Korea, this dish would be considered a muchim, which can refer to any number of “seasoned” or “dressed” salads or other preparations. Here, thick-skinned grape tomatoes maintain their snappy crunch, even draped in a fire-bright tangle of gochugaru, sesame oil and fish sauce. Though tomato’s natural umami flavor multiplies the longer it sits, this dish is best eaten within 24 hours. When you’re done, don’t throw out the leftover dressing at the bottom of the bowl: Tossed in that tomatoey brine, bouncy rice noodles are a dream. For a vegetarian option, swap out the fish sauce for soy sauce.
- Serves: 2 persons
- 1pound grape tomatoes (about 2 to 3 cups), halved lengthwise
- 1teaspoon kosher salt
- 2tablespoons white distilled vinegar
- ½teaspoon finely grated garlic
- 1tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1tablespoon gochugaru
- 2teaspoons fish sauce
- 1teaspoon granulated sugar
- Thinly sliced scallions, chopped chives, or cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish (optional)
Step 1In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with the salt, transfer to a colander, and let sit in the sink to drain, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in the same bowl, add the vinegar and garlic and set aside.
Step 2After 30 minutes, add the sesame oil, gochugaru, fish sauce and sugar to the bowl with the vinegar and garlic and whisk to combine. Use a paper or cloth kitchen towel to pat the tomatoes dry, then add the tomatoes to the dressing and toss until well coated.
Step 3Garnish with the optional herbs before serving. This is best eaten right away, but can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.