Recipe: Chive Blossom Kimchi
Late spring is one of the most exciting seasons at the farmers market. It seems like every week, something new and delicious comes into season and floods the stalls with the brightest colors, biggest flavors, and most intoxicating aromas of the year.
Blossoming chives are one such treat. We get giddy when we see them pop up at the market. Who could resist those beautiful blooms? Plus, chives are super easy to grow at home. We have a few potted in our loft and in our raised beds.
If you want to keep your chives growing and prevent them from going to seed, you have to clip the blossoms. Both the flowers and the stalks are edible and taste like mild onion, so you can use these stunners in a wide variety of dishes, including kimchi.
Chives (typically garlic chives) are a classic seasonal kimchi base. When they replace cabbage & radish in traditional kimchi, it becomes buchu kimchi. The greens become silky and soft through fermentation, and retain their delicate garlic & onion flavors well against the kimchi paste.
But perhaps the best part of this ferment is how beautiful it is in your jar and on the plate: swirled in deep red, the purple blossoms pop against their bright green stalks, making it hard to resist this fun, seasonal kimchi.
Enjoy as you would your other kimchis: in a rice bowl with an egg, added to stir fry, or plucked straight from the jar.
1 bunch chives with blossoms
5 bunches chives
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
5 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 cup water
Rinse chives and blossoms. If chives are soft and pliable, they can be left whole. Blossom stems tend to be a bit stiffer and may need to be cut in half to fit in fermentation jar. In a large bowl toss chives and blossoms with salt until coated and let sit while you prepare the kimchi paste.
Combine garlic and sugar in a mortar or mixing bowl and mash together. Add in gochugaru and fish sauce and continue to blend until a paste forms.
Working in handfuls, add kimchi paste to chives and using your hands, mix until evenly coated, wrap chives in a loop and pack into fermentation jar. The gochugaru will quickly turn your hands a bright red so kitchen gloves are handy.
Pack chives into fermentation jar, we like adding the blossoms half way and at the top but they can added throughout. When the jar is full, add the fermentation weight. Top with one cup of water and push down. You want the packed chives to be completely submerged when weighted. Questions about fermentation weights? Check out our Fermentation Weight Guide.
Top with lid and airlock (Need help? Check out our How to Assemble Airlock Video). Let ferment for 3 days at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Check daily and push down on the weight to keep submerged. As the chives ferment the volume in the fermentation jar will reduce. Transfer finished kimchi to jars and move to the refrigerator. Kimchi will keep refrigerated for at least 2 months.