As I have gone on at length, likely at too much length, when the cold smoker gets fired up, look out. There are few limits to what might end up being bathed in pecan/bourbon barrel smoke. While there are some duds (pears and apricots), there have been some finds. This kimchi, made with with smoked savoy cabbage, is one of them.
The only real surprise is that it took me so long to get to smoked kimchi, given my tendency to random smoking and kimchi making. On top of this being a combination of two favored hobbies, one of my favorite combinations is kimchi and bacon.
After smoking the head of savoy cabbage, I wilted it overnight and completed the standard process.
After waiting a few weeks, I cracked open the jar. I was somewhat surprised that the strong smokey aroma was slightly muted after fermenting in the jar. When it went it, the smokey aroma was very strong, after all the cabbage had been cold smoked for eight hours. With the sheer volume of chili flakes, fish and soy sauce, ginger and garlic, it should not have surprised. The flavor featured the smoke in full, however. Kimchi is a fully flavored forkful normally, but adding the kiss of smoke adds great depth to the heavy spiced and fermented condiment.
I added the kimchi to seared venison kalbi in a little plate of ssam. The kalbi was deliciously gamey and the smokey element to the kimchi really met the challenge of the gaminess. The best part about the smoked kimchi, aside from adding the smokey depth of flavor to an already great jar of condiment. is that the difficulty was in the idea. The simplicity of the execution put the jar just a step to the left or right of a condiment that holds a permanent spot in the door of my fridge.