There’s a lot going on in America right now. Still reeling from the disproportionate effects Covid-19 had on the black community, the community now faces yet another senseless death at the hands of the police.
I have remained fairly silent for the past few days, hoping that my silence has made space for the people who need to be heard most right now. I’ve taken the time to educate myself more on systemic racism, implicit bias, and programs I can support making real, positive change. These are small steps. I am only one person, but I am committed to fighting for change.
What have I learned through this research?
I have learned that as of 2017, for every $100 of wealth held by a white family, a black family held only $5.04. Let that sink in for a moment because that is an almost incomprehensible statistic.
I have learned that I can’t understand what it’s like to be a black person in America, and that’s O.K. The black community doesn’t need me to understand their plight. They need me to be a reliable ally.
I have learned that I can easily support my black community. It can be as simple as doing something I frequently do anyway- like eating out. I have been referencing this guide to find black-owned restaurants to support in DC. If you are in any large city, you can find black-owned recommendations in the guide. I’m also donating to the community monthly. I’m starting with the Black Lives Matter movement, but have long been a supporter of the ACLU and will continue to look for deserving causes I can support (like this one and this one).
I have learned that my white guilt serves no one. This isn’t about me. It’s important to turn that emotion into action, not just to recognize that I have it.
Anyway, here’s the recipe. I make kimchi jjigae when I’m sick or need comfort. Now seems like a pretty good time. I like to top the dish with a poached egg, but you can easily omit if you’re looking for a vegan option.
Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew)
- 2 c kimchi coarsely chopped
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 1½ tbsp gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
- 2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- 2 small garlic, minced
- 4 c vegetable broth
- 1 c water
- 16 oz shiitake mushrooms, washed, dried and sliced
- 2 large zucchini, diced
- 1 16oz package silken tofu, sliced into ½” cubes. Remove as much liquid as possible by placing tofu block on paper towels and gently pressing out the water.
- kosher salt, as needed
- 3 scallions, thinnly sliced diagonally
- sesame seeds
- Cook the kimchi in a large skillet over low to medium heat until soft (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently.
- Add the yellow onions, gochugaru, soy sauce, gochujang and minced garlic to the skillet and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes.
- Add the broth, water, mushrooms and zucchini and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables begin to get tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Gently add the tofu to the skillet in small portions. Cook over a low simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Season with salt if needed, and top with thinly sliced scallions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Mention @the.neon.kitchen or tag #theneonkitchen!