Todd Kelly’s Secret Weapon / Tasting Table

Todd Kelly’s Secret Weapon / Tasting Table

Todd Kelly’s Secret Weapon

Put the Cincinnati chef’s spicy scallion kimchi on everything


Fried Rice: “I always come home hungry and need a meal made from whatever’s lying around, which is often rice,” Kelly says. “So kimchi fried rice is what I eat late at night.” Make a traditional fried rice by sweating out diced onions and adding cooked rice. Add a drop of soy sauce and a scrambled egg, and then warm some of the kimchi into it. “It’s perfect: Your nose is dripping a bit, and you’ve got the sweats. It’s a filling, fast 1 a.m. meal.”

Kimchi Tacos: To make another late-night staple, Kelly uses the kimchi to add flavor to simple tacos. Sear corn tortillas in a little olive oil, then top them with shredded cheese, a little mayonnaise and the kimchi. The mayo adds fat and richness (“almost like a po’boy”), and the kimchi adds funky, salty, tangy flavor.

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Recipe: Scallion-Apple Kimchi


1 pound green onions, trimmed and cut into thirds (7 cups trimmed scallions)
8 ounces daikon radish, julienned (2 cups julienned daikon)
1 pound red apples—peeled, cored and quartered (2 medium apples)
1 garlic head, peeled and cloves separated
3-inch piece ginger
½ cup gochujang
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons salted fermented shrimp (saeujeot)
1 tablespoon kosher salt


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the green onions and daikon, and set aside. In the bowl of a food processor, add the remaining ingredients and purée to a paste. Wearing gloves, add the paste to the green onions and gently massage into the greens, gently crushing them to help release their juices.

2. Place the mixture in a 1-gallon fermentation glass jar, pressing the contents down and eliminating any air pockets. Cover with cheesecloth and store in a cool, dark place for 4 days, occasionally removing the cheesecloth to pack down and submerge the contents of the jar in its own liquid. After 4 days, affix tight-fitting lid and store in the fridge for a minimum of 1 week and up to a few months.

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