by Judy Moon
A few weeks ago, I shared the epic news that I made raw sauerkraut. That may not seem epic to you but I was truly patting myself on the back for the accomplishment.
My next challenge was Kimchi. I’ve only had Kimchi a few times and I knew that I liked it. I wasn’t sure exactly what was in it, but I decided to give it a whirl.
Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made from fermented vegetables and is the national dish of Korea. It is served at pretty much every meal. Since I have added eating fermented foods daily into to my wellness plan, I was excited about making Kimchi.
My husband Joe and I got our first CSA this summer. In case you don’t know what that is – (I had to Google it a few years ago) a CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It’s like you are investing in a chunk of the farm for the season. You can find somewhere you pay monthly, or all at once for the whole season. There are usually different size shares and you can add things like egg shares, dairy shares, etc. We got our share from Taproot Farm and conveniently pick up our weekly box of fresh goodies and 6 farm fresh eggs right around the corner from our house. It’s been so fun and inspiring to get our box of vegetables each week and we sometimes receive things we’ve never had before – like Pointed Cabbage. It was literally shaped like an almond. I looked it up and it said it was a mild form of cabbage and usually served braised. Hot, braised cabbage in the fall – yummy! Hot braised cabbage in the summer – no thanks, I think I’ll make some Kimchi!
I must have read a thousand recipes. There are some similarities, but oh my gosh it was overwhelming and yikes, people are very opinionated about Kimchi.
I ended up taking elements of a bunch of different recipes and just winging it.
Here’s what I came up with –
Judy’s Yay I Did It Kimchi
1 pointed cabbage shredded with a knife
2 carrots grated (I actually used Trader Joe’s shredded carrots and made 2 piles that looked like the equivalent of 2 carrots)
1 apple peeled and cored
3 spring onions sliced
1- 2 inch knob of ginger peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic peeled
5 red radishes
1 Tbl red pepper flakes
1 Tbl sea salt
Dash of Siracha if you feel daring
Directions for winging it-
- Wash and then roughly shred your cabbage with a knife into a large bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt and massage in. Let the cabbage hang out with a towel over it so that the cabbage can sweat and release it’s own water. Let it rest for an hour or so, massaging it every so often.
- In a food processor pulse garlic cloves, the peeled roughly chopped ginger knob, the radishes, the peeled and cored apple and the red pepper flakes. Don’t over process.
- Squeeze the cabbage and wring out any liquid and place cabbage in a different bowl reserving liquid.
- Add pulsed items from the food processor and massage together with the cabbage adding the Siracha if you’re feeling adventurous.
- Add cabbage liquid back in and mix well.
- Place your mixture in a 1 quart mason jar (that’s what mine fit in, if your cabbage is larger, you may need a bigger jar), pressing the mixture down to release any bubbles. You want to be sure everything is submerged and there is excess liquid at the top. I like to use the wide mouth mason jars, so you can really get your hand in there and pack the mixture. You can weigh it down with one of these groovy little weights
- Cover with a dish towel or cheese cloth and place in a warm spot. Let sit for 4-5 days or so. Keep an eye on it, if it foams (which is normal) you can skim that off, you can also add some extra water if it starts to evaporate, just mix 1/2 c of water with 1 tsp salt and add the brine to the jar.
- Taste your creation after about 3 or 4 days. You can let it sit till you reach the desired fermented taste you are looking for.
- Seal your jar with a lid, and store in the fridge for up to 2-3 months, if it lasts that long.
Since I was using a softer milder cabbage, I capped mine after 4 days because I was worried about the cabbage breaking down too much. The flavor is great! I made a vegan version since I don’t like seafood so there’s no fish sauce or dried shrimp or sea vegetables in my version.
“Kimchi is rich in vitamins A and C, and due to its fermentation process is also rich in beneficial gut-boosting lactobacilli bacteria.”
As I mentioned, there are a ton of recipes out there, so find one that speaks to you or just wing it, like I did! It’s a great way to add some healthy bacteria and spiciness into your day.