Authoritative YouTube video on technique:
The comments have a recipe for the dough:
I tend to add a bit more salt (heaping teaspoons). Mixing until there are bubbles is important for gluten development, otherwise you don't get any chewiness. You can also let the dough rest for a while.
"A bit water" means you want to add enough water that you can mix it properly but not so much that it gets runny, the dough should be very sticky and thick.
The bubbles are a real thing meaning at some point the dough forms a stretchy film.
I don't actually make rice flour porridge, I just blend the other paste ingredients (except for the chili flakes) with a bit of water. I usually don't add carrots, radish or green onions either.
I leave the Kimchi at room temperature for longer, usually 4-5 days before transferring to the fridge.
The amount of garlic is correct.
For some inspiration, here's Kenji's video:
Start by making "bacon" by frying small smoked tofu cubes in butter and salt until crunchy.
Then fry the Spätzle in a lot of butter and oil - the ratio is roughly Spätzle from 300-400g flour to 50g butter and a teaspoon or two of oil. Once the Spätzle are brown add 1-2 onions, fry until translucent, add 3 crushed cloves of garlic, fry for a few seconds. Add as much Kimchi as you like (with the liquid), soy sauce and finally "bacon".
If you want a spicier version you can add more Gochugaru or Gochujang.
If you want a soupier version closer to Tteokbokki, add water.
If you want a supremely decadent version inspired by Kässpätzle, add cheese. Optionally add black pepper.
TODO: Figure out how to keep the Spätzle nice and crunchy but still have them soak up Kimchi liquid and thicken up the sauce...
What's cheaper, buying chickpeas in cans or rehydrating and cooking them yourself?
Intuitively I'd have guessed the home cooked chickpeas would be cheaper, but I wasn't sure. Maybe if you cook them in large enough batches you can somehow offset the increased costs of cooking and shipping water?
So I did the math myself.
The price of chickpeas varies quite a bit depending on which ones you buy. I sampled a few offers from Coop, Migros and Lidl.
For cooked chickpeas the cheapest price I found was 2.76 CHF/kg (non-organic, sold in 540g jars) and the most expensive one was 10.83 CHF/kg (organic, sold in 120g cans).
Dried chickpeas on the other hand are priced similarly everywhere - probably due to the fact that they all come in a standard 500g bag size and are organic. Prices range from around 4 CHF to around 6 CHF.
All in all you pay a premium for not shopping at a discounter, for buying organic and for buying smaller batches - no news here. I could imagine you could get cheaper chickpeas by shopping at a Turkish supermarket, but that's probably true for both canned and dried chickpeas.
For the sake of comparison, let's just take the cheapest cooked vs the cheapest dried chickpeas. The dried chickpeas are organic and the cooked ones aren't, but whatever. At this point it looks like the cooked chickpeas win handily (2.76 CHF/kg vs 3.98 CHF/kg). But dried chickpeas gain weight while soaking and cooking. How much exactly?
I started with 200g of dried chickpeas:
After soaking their weight had increased to 407g - more than 2x!
Cooking added another 10g to that. I had to try a chickpea or two to taste for done-ness, so that's not included in the weight after cooking.
All in all, that's roughly a 110% increase in weight. For a fair comparison, this takes the dried chickpeas from 3.98 CHF/kg raw down to 1.91 CHF/kg, clearly cheaper than the canned chickpeas.
But wait, cooking them did use some gas and water. How does that factor in?
I don't actually pay for water myself, the water costs in this building are distributed evenly across the tenants. Also water is really cheap around here, about 1 CHF/m³, so I'll consider it negligible.As for the gas costs: I took a photo of the gas counter before
As you can see, I've used up around 0.032 m³ of gas. Interestingly cooking gas is paid in kWh, at a rate of 0.15 CHF/kWh. Looking at my old bills I found a conversion rate of 10.906 kWh/m³, which means cooking the chickpeas cost about... 0.05 CHF.
You could cook more than 200g at once and have the costs go down, but I'm just going to scale that up to an entire kg of cooked chickpeas and assume around 0.13 CHF for 1kg of final product.
All in all, the grand total is 2.04 CHF/kg for dried compared to 2.76 CHF/kg for cooked.
So yes, dried chickpeas are quite a bit cheaper than canned ones, even if you get the organic ones.
Realistically however, chances are that your labor cost dwarfs everything else, especially if you write a blog post about it. Cooking is mostly unattended time, but it's still non-zero work. There is of course also the cost of cleaning the dishes but you can re-use the pot you used to cook the chickpeas to cook the actual meal.
Personally, I very much prefer the taste of freshly cooked chickpeas too.
As a student, I have spent a lot of time experimenting with pasta and tomato sauce. These are my entirely subjective results.
When asking people what makes a good tomato sauce, probably the most common answer you will get is "good tomatoes". It is a conceptually nice answer for several reasons. Tomatoes are universally seen as healthy - we like the belief that fresh and healthy ingredients make good food, and "good tomatoes" should be the only logical answer because tomatoes are the main ingredient. Furthermore, it is an answer that makes you comfortable since if your tomato sauce doesn't taste as good as the one on vacation in Italy, there's nothing you can do because they just have access to superior ingredients.
What actually is a good tomato sauce is already a quite difficult thing to find out. There's an interesting talk by Malcolm Gladwell at TED where he speaks about clustering of people's preferences. There seems to be a large group of people who like their spaghetti sauce extra chunky, and several other clusters.
However, I've come to the conclusion that the aforementioned "good tomatoes" actually don't play a role at all for a good tomato sauce. Making tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes is a mess, and there are a lot of things that can go wrong. You need very ripe tomatoes, you need to peel them, get rid of the kernels... and worst of all, the result is often indistinguishable from the sauce you make from a can of preserved, diced tomatoes. Also, I haven't been able to distinguish organic tomatoes from regular ones - this seems to be a primarily ethical choice.
What actually does seem to matter is the content of salt and fat, which is in line with research findings. People like salty and fatty foods (no shit, Sherlock!), so if you go for taste and not health, you may want to add a good gulp of olive oil. Probably after cooking, in order to preserve the taste. Fats are also natural flavor enhancers. By stirring it in, you can create an emulsion of little olive oil droplets in your tomato sauce, enhancing the natural tomato taste.
Speaking of taste... a good Italian style tomato sauce needs basil, the more the better. Fresh basil, that is - the dried version tastes completely different.
If you eat the same tomato sauce for a while, it becomes bland. Luckily, there are lots of ways to experiment, since you can add oregano or leave it out, add some chopped onions or mushrooms, red wine, powdered paprika, tomato concentrate or garlic. Of course, you can also experiment with different cheeses on top. The result is sometimes better, sometimes worse than what you had before, but always slightly different.tl;dr: Tomato sauce is awesome, add lots of olive oil and basil :)