Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Experimental Kimchi

I've been concocting some more great food experiments in this kitchen. Yesterday I harvested a bunch of red cabbage leaves that grew back on the plants after we harvested the cabbage heads months ago. I was amazed how much grew back on the plants after we cut off the heads and decided that I might as well try to use this second growth for something good. I decided a nice batch of kimchi would be a nice experiment that I haven't tried before. Kimchi is a great Korean fermented food used to help in digestion. Most often consumed in small amounts after a meal. I've only had it a few times but I love all things that are going to be beneficial to for my gut flora and overall body health. 

There are really numerous methods that I found but here's how it went down for me:

  1. Chopped up about 5 pounds of red cabbage leaves with one large head of napa cabbage. Typically kimchi is made with all napa cabbage but I am always altering something here.
  2. Added about a pound of sliced carrots.
  3. Mixed that all up and put into a giant crock. Covered the veggies with a brine made of 1/4 salt per quart of water. This was allowed to sit overnight so that the veggies could start leaching out their water.
  4. Drained the veggies and added the spice mixture: 5 cloves garlic, 3 T. fresh ginger, 3 T. dried chili peppers, 1/2 cup chopped red onion, about 1 T. soy sauce, several dashes of lime juice, 1 1/2 t. sugar. Some of thee recipes I found suggested fish sauce or anchovy paste which is probably pretty authentic for the Korean delicacy, but I went without since we don't have fish sauce in this house. 
  5. Then I pressed the mixture into my jars and covered with the reserved brine so that the veggies were submerged. 
  6. They will sit on my counter for several days as I check them daily, push the veggies under the water and wait until I feel like they are properly fermented. Pretty simple and magical. Then they'll go into the fridge for safe keeping.

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