Usually, this time of year, I’m trying my best to overdose on tomatoes (drinking gazpacho, canning pomodoro, eating heirlooms by the salted slice)... Challenging my insatiable appetite for the fruit that tastes of summer sun. September hit. We were all melting. And still, weeks later, here we are, bracing ourselves for another heat wave and desperate for something different. In this moment, I just want something new and unexpected...Something that doesn't taste like it came from my summer garden, kitchen or past.
A few years ago, Mel created a kimchi, ham & cheese bun that was deliciously surprising. It tasted like a fruitful experiment, something made late at night by an alchemist with many tasty things at hand. The buns are good in the car on your way home from picking up your farm box, as a late-night snack, or with a fried egg added for a breakfast treat.
We’re also excited for this week’s bulgogi-style boneless beef short ribs, you just need to flash it in a pan or grill it until it caramelizes around the edges. The smell alone will draw my kids into the kitchen with the promise of something new in the air.
Our sweet and tangy Korean-style gochujang bbq sauce is a family favorite. Most of you are familiar with this as a marinade on our spatchcocked chicken. This week, however, we’ve decided to bottle it so you can brush it on grilled or roasted free-range chicken thighs, Peads and Barnett’s boneless pork chops, or firm Meiji tofu, handmade locally in small batches with non-GMO soybeans. We are also selling their supreme tofu, which is silken and pudding-like. We have branzino fillets which we love, with a bright, crunchy, Asian-inspired salad.
Make it a meal with a pot of koshihikari rice and our marinated shitake mushrooms and crisp cucumber salad, both ready to eat. There will also be kale, spinach, carrots, and other vegetables in the produce box to turn into California banchan (Korean-inspired side dishes that we’ll provide recipes for.) If you like kimchi, Gimmedat’s napa cabbage kimchis are really special, small-batch ferments. We’ll also provide a recipe for kimchi fried rice.
Back by popular demand, you can restock the freezer with handmade vegetable dumplings, pork xiao long bao (soup) dumplings, and Hong Kong-style pork and shrimp wontons from Hui Tou Xiang dumpling workshop in San Gabriel. Xiao long bao are traditionally served with Chinese black vinegar and ginger, but we love dipping our dumplings in Gimmedat’s chili crisp.
All summer, I drink roasted barley tea, a traditional drink throughout East Asia, and was thrilled to learn that Sonoko Sakai is sourcing local barley from Kodo Farms in Dos Palos, CA, and roasting it in small batches. You can enjoy it hot or cold, but during these dog days, a tall glass of iced barley tea is incredibly refreshing, naturally caffeine free and has a nutty, subtle chocolate flavor profile. It's also full of antioxidants and considered highly restorative. In Japan, it is known for cleaning the blood.
From our friends at Forage, we have something totally new to drink. Makku, is an all natural, unfiltered rice beer from South Korea. This modern take on makgeolli, Korea’s oldest alcoholic beverage, is smooth and refreshing with a touch of sweetness.
For something sweet, we have another one of Sonoko’s distinct creations. Her sesame butter cookie kits are simple to make and easy to eat, yet unexpectedly sophisticated. They also come perfectly packaged to give as a gift.