If you can't find garlic stems, simply substitute with 1 big bundle of Chinese chives and about 4 cloves of garlic. The result will be just as good but with a different touch of herbal scent. Still equally garlicky no matter what.
Creamy and garlicky kimchi pork spaghetti -
Ingredients (4 to 6 portion)?
- 1 pack/500 grams/17.6 oz of spaghetti
- 2 cups of kimchi (Korean pickled Napa cabbage)
- 12/small bundle garlic stems
- 4 fresh red chilies
- 1.3 lbs thick cut pork belly
- Some toasted white sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 tea spoon freshly ground black pepper
Kimchi sauce blend:
- 2 cups of kimchi and some of its pickled juice
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
Bring a big pot of water to a boil and add a few pinches of salt. Add in the spaghetti and cook till nearly al dente in texture. The pasta should be slightly harder than al dente because we will finish cooking it in kimchi sauce afterwards. Once the spaghetti is ready, drain well and set aside for later use. Try to save about one cup of pasta water in case we need to dilute the sauce.
Chop off and discard the roots from the garlic stems. Chop the remaining into about 2 inch long pieces. Take a few stems and finely chop the tips to use as garnish, about few tablespoons.
Chop off and discard the chili stems, and finely chop the remaining. Chop 2 cups of kimchi into bite size pieces first if needed. Cut the thick pork slices into chunks.
Take a food processor and add in all the ingredients under the kimchi sauce blend section. Blend till smooth. The sauce should be on the saltier side, taste and see if more salts are needed.
Add the pork belly into a big pan and turn to medium high heat. Cook till the fat starts to render, takes about 10 minutes for me. The pork belly is ready when the edges starts to burn and appear in caramel brown color.
Add in the garlic stems, chilies, salt, and freshly ground pepper. Give it a quick stir and cook till the stems soften. It might take a few more minutes compared to cooking chives, since the garlic stems I got looks pretty tough. We need to break down the fiber in order to get a smoother bite.
Add in 2 cups of kimchi and mix well.
Pour in the sauce blend and bring to a boil. Finally, transfer the spaghetti into the mixture and cook till al dente in texture.
Garnish the spaghetti with some finely chopped garlic stems and sprinkle with some toasted white sesame seeds.
Drizzle a few drops of sesame oil over the pasta if a stronger aroma is preferred.
You can tastes and feel the tiny bits of kimchi pieces and whipping cream curdles clinging onto the spaghetti, that's the yummy part that can't be missed, packed with flavors!