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We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other. - E.H.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Kimchi

Kimchi is one of those foods that I find most people have a strong opinion about. My father, for instance, wont be in the same room as an open container of kimchi if he can help it. I couldn't disagree more. I love kimchi.

While its easy enough to buy kimchi in Peterborough, most of the store bought kimchi I've found has fish oil in it - and I cook for enough vegans that this can be a real pain. Besides, this recipe is so good, and SO easy, there's really no reason to buy it.


You'll need:

Head of napa cabbage - about one pound
Sea salt
Water
Red chili flakes
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
3-4 green onions, sliced
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 ripe apple
1/2 ripe pear

1. First,  separate the cabbage leaves and chop them up, into roughly bite sized pieces.

2. Dissolve a quarter cup of sea salt in a big bowl half full of warm water, then pour salt water over cabbage leaves. Give cabbage a gentle toss to distribute salt water. Allow salted cabbage to sit for at least four hours, or overnight. The cabbage doesn't need to be covered in water - just tossed in it.

3. Give the cabbage a good rinse to remove excess salt, then transfer cabbage to a large bowl.

4. Combine a quarter cup of fine red chili flakes with warm water, stir gently with a spoon to create a red chili paste, then transfer chili paste to cabbage.

5. Add minced garlic, minced ginger, and the green onions.

6. Blend yellow onion, apple, and pear with one cup of water, then add this natural sweetener to the cabbage.

7. Put on a pair of plastic gloves and give everything a thorough toss and rubdown. You want to evenly distribute all ingredients, especially the red chili paste.

8. Transfer seasoned cabbage leaves into glass jars. Be sure to use firm pressure with your hands to push down on cabbage leaves as they stack up inside the bottle.

Transfer any liquid that accumulated during the mixing process into the bottle as well - this liquid will become kimchi brine. Some liquid will also come out of the cabbage leaves as you press down on them as they are stacked in the bottle.

Be sure to leave at least an inch of room at the top of the bottle before capping it loosely* with a lid, and allow the kimchi to ferment at least 24 hours before you eat it. Some sights recommend refrigerating the kimchi at this point to slow down the fermentation process, but we usually leave it out to keep fermenting, and eat it over the course of a month or so.

* Although its never happened to me, a reader commented that she had jar explode on her after capping a lid too tight! So I've changed the original instructions - cap loosely my friends!!

Ed: If you're wondering what to do with your kimchi, check out this recipe for kimchi fried rice!

2 comments:

  1. Miss Kate, great recipe! Although you might want to specify what happens when you place the mixture in jars and "(cap) tightly with a lid" ... I used your recipe and had a small incident with a busted glass jar! (Check out what happened at http://hillarystarbright.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/my-first-time-fermenting-kimchi-rad) Otherwise I loved this recipe; it's super easy and very delish!

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  2. Oh no!! Thats never happened to me, I'm glad you let me know! I've added a note in the recipe and will be sure to cap loosely from here on in.

    Busted jars are no fun!

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