When talking about on trend ferments, Kimchi is probably one of the latest to hit our food scene. Originating from Korea, it’s a dish of fermented vegetables that has been on the country’s homeland plates for centuries.
The great thing about Kimchi is that unlike some food trends that consist of rare, hard to find ingredients, cabbage is the main ingredient. Cheap, abundant and widely available.
What makes Kimchi fun, as well as beneficial, is that Kimchi is actually all about technique rather than the ingredients or recipe. Traditional recipes use napa cabbage but modern takes include anything from radishes, cucumber or eggplants.
Koreans typically serve their Kimchi alongside national dishes, roasted meats or fish. However, the Kimchi craze in the Western hemisphere has seen it moving from a Korean staple to additions to omelettes, jacket potatoes and even toasties.
Kimchi has a flavour that hits your taste buds and is quite unique. While some original recipes may not be for everyone, with the abundance of different recipes available today, there is sure to be something to suit most palates.
- 900g red cabbage, chopped
- 50g pickling salt
- 225g carrot, julienned
- 225g daikon radish, julienned
- 6 green onions, sliced into 1” segments
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 asian pear (or apple), peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 small yellow onion
- 240ml water
- 50g kochukaru (you can use cayenne pepper as a substitute)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
Place the thinly sliced cabbage leaves in to a large bowl along with the salt. Massage the leaves until water begins to release.
Cover the cabbage with water and leave for a minimum of 2 hours, occasionally mixing the cabbage leaves (it will have reduced in volume and feel limp. Leave for another hour if still firm).
Strain the cabbage and rinse under running water, repeat and then return to the bowl.
Add the daikon, carrot, green onions, ginger and garlic.
In a food processor, combine the pear, yellow onion, water, chilli powder and fish sauce until smooth and add to the cabbage.
Mix the contents of the bowl really well, making sure everything is coated with the sauce.
Pack the Kimchi tightly into Kilner jars, leaving 1-2” of headspace. Make sure the vegetables are pushed down and compact so they are fully submerged.
Clean the rims, removing any debris. Close the jars with a loose fitting lid and let ferment at room temperature for a minimum of 3 days.
You can begin tasting the Kimchi after the 3 days and decide when to stop the fermenting according to the sourness. Everyone is different but you will be looking for a definite sour or tangy taste. Once you have reached the required levels, seal the jars tightly and store in the fridge.