In the last two weeks or so, just about everyone in the country has suddenly figured out how to bake bread. Yep, it seems like everyone has a pandemic project now. If you want another one or still haven’t decided on yours (not that you need to – not doing anything at home is a valid way to spend your pandemic too), consider making your own kimchi, with help from the team behind Sáng by Mabasa.
Like so many other hospitality businesses in Sydney, this excellent Korean restaurant in Surry Hills has had to change tack in recent weeks due to coronavirus. The food menu has been rejigged for takeaway and local delivery, and pre-cooked meals are also available too.
“We hired an [electric] bike,” says Kenny Yong Soo Son, who owns the eatery with his partner Youmee Jeon and his parents, chefs Jin Sun Son and Seung Kee Son. “I personally do each and every delivery myself. This is important for us as it allows us to take full control of our food, orders and timing as well as costs. But most of all, we thought it was the most safe and trustworthy way of getting our food to the customers’ doorsteps.”
Sáng has been selling packs of frozen mandu (Korean dumplings) to make at home, as well as frozen kimchi-jjigae (kimchi-soup). Now it’s offering DIY kimchi packs for $21, which you can order online for pick-up or delivery. All of the finicky aspects of kimchi-making – salting the cabbage and nailing the ratio of ingredients for optimal taste and fermentation – have all been taken care of by the Sáng team. All you have to do is assemble and ferment it in the fridge for a couple of days. It’s the equivalent of using cake mix, but with restaurant-quality ingredients.
If you’re after something that’s ready-to-eat, get the bokkeum kimchi (stir-fried kimchi) for $10. With the perfect balance of sourness and spice, it’s a great addition to dishes such as fried rice. “Bokkeum kimchi is a killer with so many dishes, Korean or not. We have started filming and uploading to Instagram a few how-to videos for our stay-home packs. We plan on doing something similar for the bokkeum kimchi, to show a few options on how it could best be used. Think bokkeum-kimchi cheese toasties and kimchi pasta,” says Yong Soo Son.