Recipe: Collards and Kimchi
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 tablespoon
- 5 slices
thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
medium sweet onion, peeled and diced
- 2 bunches
- 2 tablespoons
apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup
low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
(14-ounce) jar kimchi
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Cook the bacon:
Heat the oil in a very large skillet (not nonstick) over medium-high until it shimmers. Add chopped bacon and cook until crisp around the edges, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. With bacon grease still in the skillet, add onion and sauté until softened, translucent, and nearly caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes.
Prepare the collards:
While the bacon and onion are cooking, stack a few collard leaves on a cutting board. Cut off stems and cut leaves crosswise into long. 1-inch wide strips. Cut strips into approximate 2-inch pieces. Repeat with remaining collard leaves (see Recipe Notes). Place collards in a colander or salad spinner and rinse under running water; spin or shake dry to remove most of the water. When onion is nearly caramelized, add collards, one handful at a time. Heat and stir until collards begin to cook down, about 2 minutes, then add another handful of collards. Repeat until all collards are added to the skillet.
Deglaze the pan:
Push collards to one side of the skillet to expose the browned bits (the fond) on the bottom of the pan. Add vinegar and quickly stir up the fond. Add broth, reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook collards, stirring occasionally, until almost all of the liquid is evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, open the jar of kimchi over the sink since fermented foods have a tendency to bubble over when opened.
When the liquid in the skillet has nearly all evaporated (and what liquid remains has turned golden-brown and thickened), remove skillet from heat. Add kimchi to ingredients in skillet and stir until well-mixed. If desired, stir in red pepper flakes. Transfer collards-kimchi mixture to a serving dish and top with the crisp bacon pieces. Serve warm.
Kimchi, or kimchee, is spicy pickled and fermented cabbage. Thanks to the recent and growing popularity of fermented foods and their health benefits, there are many brands and variations of kimchi available. A few of my favorites are those from Farmhouse Culture and Mother In Law's Kimchi. Of course, it's totally satisfying — and not that hard — to make your own kimchi at home.
You'll need 2 bunches, or about 12 large leaves, of collard greens. It is not necessary to remove the thick center rib of the collard leaves; it will cook down and help maintain some toothsome crunch. Do, however, remove and compost the thick round stems.