Over the past month I’ve made 2 new food discoveries: savory (the herb) and kimchee (Korea’s national dish). I’m in love with both…and though they may seem like strange bedfellows, I’ve put them together in this recipe.
Savory, the winter variety, was introduced to me through my CSA; one of the many awesome benefits of being a member is experimenting with new foods and flavors. To me, it tastes like a cross between thyme and flat-leaf parsley; it resembles the woodsy flavor of thyme, but also has a clean, bright quality similar to parsley. It’s a beautiful in-between seasons kind of herb. I’ve been using it in everything, including these potato kale cakes.
Kimchee, or kimchi, is a fermented vegetable dish usually made with salted chinese cabbage and red chili. It’s spicy and sour, the fermenty kind of sour like in sauerkraut. Other common flavorings are garlic, onion, radish and ginger. I’m slowly getting into the art of fermenting and kimchee is something I’ve had my eye on for a while but had never eaten before. I haven’t made it yet, but plan to as I improve my fermenting skills. Until then, I’ve been buying it from my local international foods market and am super addicted! (Heads up: some varieties have dried shrimp or fish sauce, but there are vegan brands too) I’ve been finding all kinds of ways to use it…topping for hot dogs, pureed with ketchup as a condiment for veggie burgers, and now this kimchee mayo. It’s so simple, in fact, it’s too simple really: puree the kimchee then blend it with mayonnaise. You can use a vegan mayo or egg mayo; either way it packs a walloping punch of flavor and goes really well with these potato cakes.
The cakes are easy to make and are loaded with nutrition. I use mashed potatoes…got leftovers? perfect!…and I leave the skin on for extra nutrition (and because I’m lazy). I make a vegan version by mashing them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Kale is abundant right now, so I cooked up a big batch of chopped kale with onions, garlic, and lots of fresh savory and add that to the mashed potatoes along with cooked quinoa for protein and to act as a binder; no eggs or flour needed. Form palmfuls of the mixture into patties and pan fry them in olive oil. Serve them with the kimchee mayo and a sprinkling of fresh savory leaves. Healthy, delicious, and so satisfying!
Kimchee mayo: kimchee + mayo.
Remove the tough kale stems: hold the end of the stem with one hand and, with a downward sweeping motion, swipe the leaves off with the other hand in one motion. It’s much quicker than cutting the stems/ribs from each leaf. (save the stems for veggie stock)
Savory, so very.
Add cooked quinoa, mashed potatoes, and kale mixture to a bowl. Get in there with your hands and mix it all together.
Grab a palmful (about 1/4 cup) of the cake mixture and form patties.
Pan fry the cakes in olive oil.
Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.
The spicy, fermenty, creamy kimchee mayo is dyn-o-mite!
This recipe has been submitted to the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck.
Potato Kale Cakes with Kimchee Mayo
2 cups cooked quinoa
7 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh savory leaves, minced, plus more for garnish
salt & pepper
Add the mashed potatoes and cooked quinoa to a large bowl, set aside.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes then add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the chopped kale, savory, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook until wilted, about 5 – 7 minutes. Transfer mixture to the bowl with the potatoes and quinoa and cool for 20 – 30 minutes. Wipe out pan to use later for frying the cakes. Meanwhile, make the kimchee mayo, see below.
Using your hands or a wooden spoon, mix the kale, quinoa and mashed potatoes until well combined. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed. Form mixture into patties using 1/4 cupfuls; about 3 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the large pan over medium-high heat. Add 5 cakes and cook for 3-5 minutes, until golden and crisp. Flip and cook on the other side for 3 – 5 minutes longer (lower heat if cakes get too brown). Repeat with remaining cakes, wiping out the pan with a paper towel after each batch and adding 2 more tablespoons of olive oil for each batch. Serve with the kimchee mayo and garnish with fresh savory leaves. Enjoy!
*the cakes are best served immediately after cooking, but can be reheated in a 400 degree oven until crisp, about 5 – 10 minutes.
(makes about 1 cup)
1 cup kimchee
1/2 cup vegenaise or mayonnaise
Add the kimchee to a blender or food processor and puree. Add mayo and blend until well combined. Chill until ready to serve.