Gazpacho, kimchi, and shrimp cocktail aren't dishes that you'd expect to find of the same table or even the same menu, but for Anita Lo, author of Cooking Without Borders, these seemingly separate dishes combine for a brilliant palate-awakening first course. The concept behind her Kimchi Gazpacho with Shrimp springs from the little plates of pungent fermented kimchi that kick off nearly all Korean meals. Mixed into a fresh and simple blender gazpacho of tomatoes, cucumbers, and garlic, the kimchi acts as both salty and sour elements with just a hint of red chile.
And as for the garnish, there are two ways of figuring out how shrimp fit into the equation. Traditional baechu kimchi is made with tiny shrimp, so the shrimp garnish here is a nod to that. And of course, there's the similarity between this spicy, tomatoey chilled bowl of soup and the cocktail sauce that's traditionally served with an icy goblet of shrimp cocktail.
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Cooking Without Borders to give away this week.
- 3 cups peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped ripe tomatoes
- 1/2 cup peeled and roughly chopped seedless or Kirby cucumbers
- 1 large clove garlic, center sprout removed
- 1 cup kimchi with juice, finely diced, or less to taste
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Black pepper to taste
- To serve:
- 1 cup cooked shrimp or shucked raw littleneck or Manila clams
- Julienned scallion greens
Put the tomatoes, cucumber, and garlic in a blender and process until smooth. In a separate bowl, add the blended ingredients to the kimchi with its juice, the vinegar, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Ladle into chilled serving bowls, garnish with the shrimp and scallion greens, and serve. The soup is best served the same day it’s made, as the kimchi will eventually cause the tomatoes to ferment.