At the Brooklyn Brainery, the hip-to-be-bright Prospect Heights learning center, anyone can teach a class on anything. Courses range in topic from Shibori tie-dye to the history of whisky, and food classes abound. Asian cuisine seems to reign supreme, with over a half dozen monthly gatherings devoted to the far east — think Szechuan dumplings and regional Thai fare. Devotees of the Vanderbilt Avenue space, which draws elements from the best elementary school class room — colorful pendant flags made out of construction paper, entryway cubbies and long wooden schoolhouse tables fill the ground floor — come in droves to roll up their sleeves and make a mess with ingredients like fish sauce and ponzu.
In addition to their time spent wok-ing and rolling at the Brainery’s kitchen, disciples rely on the seriously witty email series Dabbler to keep them in the learning loop. A little pertinent history, myth-busters, social factoids, shopping lists and recipes come neatly packaged for easy digestion, via email.
Here co-founder Jonathan Soma shares one of his Dabbler highlight’s, White Radish Kimchi. And because those who dabble widely are often short on time, this version of the Korean staple is quick and easy.
1 lb white radish (Daikon)
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup red pepper powder (gochugaru)
2 tablespoons green onion, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced ginger
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1. Cut radish into 1⁄2”–3⁄4” dice, you should have 4 cups. Toss with the salt and let stand in a colander for 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, mix the radishes with red pepper until your radish cubes have a nice pink tint.
3. In a small bowl, combine the green onions with ginger, garlic, fish sauce and sugar. Add it to the radish bowl and mix well to combine.
4. Place the mixture in an uncovered glass jar or fermenting crock. Drape a cloth over the top to prevent dust or dirt from finding its way into your kimchi. Let sit at room temperature overnight and it will release liquid. The next morning, add water to cover. Leave, still at room temperature, for a day or two to begin fermenting, then transfer it into the fridge. Enjoy on everything from rice to eggs.