“And the jam is pumpin'”
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I’ve got a major soft spot for the early days of techno and EDM. I’m not talking about the deep foundation tracks that every music nerd will point to as a seismic shift in dance music. I’m talking about the cheesy Top 40 Radio targeted jumping on trend tracks and producers that came in the popularized and commercialized wave. The theme song here is definitely in my Top 5 “God It’s Cheesy But Yeah That’s A Banger” cash-in tracks. Anyone who doesn’t start doing some sort of good or bad dance move (even if just the “Underbite Head Nod” move) is perhaps dead inside. To be clear, I acknowledge that every other Technotronic track sounds like, for the most part, a variation on the theme song here. That really doesn’t matter if you’re on a dancefloor or say dancing like no one is watching while cooking in your kitchen.
I actually did not set out to make a kimchi & onion jam mash-up. I had made a kimchi jam for Lord Of The Fries and loved it, but wondered if I could fuse it with my tomato jam riff. The answer is a clear and unequivocal YES. This is still very much an onion jam, but with an extra layer of that fermented kimchi punch. Perfect for burgers, sandwiches, and I even used it on a pizza!
PUMP UP THE ONION JAM (KIMCHI REMIX)
Makes about 1 pint
2 medium sweet onions, finely sliced
2 medium red onions, finely sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons gochujang
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon gochugaru
2 cups kimchi, chopped
Start by combining turbinado, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, gochujang, soy sauce, lemon juice, salt, and gochugaru in a medium bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined and the sugar has dissolved. Add the kimchi and toss to coat. Set aside.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until the bottom of the saucepan is glazed in a pale brown fond, about 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water and scrape up fond with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until fond has built up again, about 2 minutes longer. Add 2 more tablespoons of water and scrape up browned bits. Repeat cooking, adding water, and scraping until onions are completely softened and a deep, dark brown, about 15 minutes total.
Patience is a virtue & a necessity here. You want to let the onions get fully and beautifully caramelized. That WILL take some serious time and work.
Once you’ve got beautifully caramelized onions, add the kimchi mixture. Stir to combine everything thoroughly. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until it is thickened and jammy and the kimchi is browned in spots.
Again, patience is your friend here. Let the jam take its time and you will be rewarded with a thick dense jam. Just remember to stir occasionally to keep the jam from scorching.
When the jam is finished, let cool then spoon into a storage container and keep refrigerated.