Collards: Hey there kimchi, you’re looking hot tonight. Kimchi: Hi Collards. Let’s get married. Collards: Uhhh…
This recipe is the marriage of an unlikely pair where Korea meets the deep south. I was looking for something really healthy to make that was also good for your gut. A weekend of too much beer and pizza had me and El Gallo feeling a little bloated and pining for healthier fare. So here I combined a bunch of things that are good for your digestive system: fibrous greens, fermented food (kimchi) and beans. This dish is surprisingly simple and quite delicious. The best part about it is that you don’t have to spend an hour slicing the whole rib out of each collard leaf. Just chop off the tough bottoms and slice. The collards cook long enough that the tough stem gets nice and tender.
At the end of the day you get a dish that is comforting, a little spicy, and incredibly good for your gut. You can serve this as a side to just about anything, or we put it over some steamed brown rice. I love that this dish is real Asian fusion, and Asian fusion at its best no less. All too often “Asian Fusion” is just Americanized versions of real Asian dishes because of either an ingredient sourcing issue or to serve the blander American palate.
For recipe notes, I actually had to deglaze the pan before adding the onions. If you’re starting to get bits of meat stuck to the pan, do deglaze otherwise it will burn. If you’re not a bean person, leave ’em out. Or try pinto or black beans if you don’t happen to have kidneys in your cupboard. The original recipe didn’t use beans but I wanted a little extra protein, fiber, and oomph to make this a one pot meal instead of an ample side.
Collards and Kimchi
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8-10oz smoked venison sausage (cubed)
- 1 onion (peeled and diced)
- 3 bunches collard greens
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 14oz kimchi
- 1 can red kidney beans (rinsed)
- pinch of red pepper flakes
|In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced sausage and cook until crispy on most sides. Set aside and reserve for later (and don't eat it all while you're cooking). Add the onion to the pan drippings and cook until translucent.|
|While cooking the sausage and onion, cut off the big stems at the bottom and cut the collards into 1-2 inch strips. It's not necessary to completely devein the collards. Rinse in a colander and loosely shake off the excess water.|
|Once the onion is starting to turn brown and caramelize, add the collards one handful at a time. Continue to heat and stir until they cook down, then add another handful and repeat the process until you have all the collards in the pot.|
|Deglaze the pan with the apple cider vinegar, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the bottom. Add the broth, reduce the heat to medium, then cover and continue to cook the collards until they are tender and most of the liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes. Once tender, add the kidney beans and kimchi and stir until heated through, about another 5 minutes. Serve as a side or over steamed rice as a main dish and sprinkle the crispy sausage pieces over the top.|
Non-game substitution: You can use any smoked sausage or chopped up bacon.
Vegetarian substitution: The beans make this a great veggie option! Just leave out the meat. If you have one vegetarian, make sure to fry the meat in a different pan so everyone can choose whether or not to add meat to their dish.