This 4-ingredient kimchi vinaigrette can do it all

this 4 ingredient kimchi vinaigrette can do it all

Maximum taste, minimum effort. For most of us, this is the holy grail of weekday cooking – we want something that tastes like it takes hours and hours without spending hours and hours making it. And if you ask me, the easiest and most delicious way to accomplish this feat is to make generous use of fermented things that have spent weeks or even years developing layers of flavors upon layers and ready to be put to use in the blink of an eye. Case in point: the umami wrapped kimchi vinaigrette used in this super crunchy chopped salad recipe, courtesy of Chef Lauren Schaefer of Kitty’s Market in Hudson, NY. (Full disclosure: I’m married to the cook.)

This kimchi vinaigrette is about as easy as a smoothie. All you have to do is put a good amount of good quality Napa cabbage kimchi – look for a brand that lists seafood like shrimp, oysters, or anchovies in the ingredients – in a blender and mix it up with some neutral oil, until it is fluffy and emulsified, dilute with a little water and season with a splash of rice vinegar and / or fish sauce. That’s it! A maximum of four ingredients, about three minutes of effort, and you get a rich, hot, tangy-sweet-spicy sauce that tastes unmistakably of the complex aromas that arise when vegetables are salted, seasoned and left to microbiologically.

Photo by Emma Fishman, food styling by Susie Theodorou, prop styling by Elizabeth Jaime

And while I love the taste of this dressing on the above chopped salad, my favorite thing about it is how many ways there are to use it. Mix in a couple of large spoons full of cooked and chilled ramen noodles for a quick picnic side. Use a few blobs to lighten a platter of grilled steak or fish. Sneak a little into any mayo-based salad – think potatoes or chicken – for a touch of funk and heat. Put it on fried eggs! Spread it on a sandwich! All of this is to say, don’t be afraid to double up on this dressing. Because the only thing better than a versatile, high-flavored sauce that takes just a few minutes to make is a versatile, high-flavored sauce that is already waiting for you in the refrigerator.

Get the Recipe:

Kimchi salad recipe

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Amanda Litchford

Making delicious meals and researching products has inspired me as a stay at home mom to start this website in helping out others who don’t have the time or expertise in the kitchen.

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