As fermented foods become more popular and people embrace the art of making your own foods, I will share with you an easy recipe for the Classic Kimchi.
SOME HISTORY ON KIMCHI
Kimchi dates back as far as the Three Kingdoms around 37 BCE. It is a national dish of North and South Korea. At that time fermented foods were widely available, and even poems were written about them.
Here is one:
Pickled radish slices make a good summer side-dish,
Radish preserved in salt is a winter side-dish from start to end.
The roots in the earth grow plumper everyday,
Harvesting after the frost, a slice ct by a knife tastes like a pear.
It was not until the late 16th Century that Kimchi became red with the addition of chilis. At that time they were brought into the country. Portuguese traders from Japan first introduced the chilis into Korea.
There are many ways to feature a specific vegetable in Kimchi such as radishes, cucumbers, jicama or any variety of root vegetables. The most notable main vegetable is the Napa Cabbage. It has an excellent texture and taste profile for the classic Kimchi.
A paste of garlic, ginger scallions, fish paste and chilis are now known as the classic base for this incredible and versatile fermented food.
MY VERSION OF THE CLASSIC KIMCHI
Depending on my mood and ingredients involved, here is a simple version to make at home.
I have experimented with all kinds of recipes in this category of fermented foods.
|Classic Kimchi|| |
- 1 Head Napa cabbage (2-3 lbs)
- 1 Daikon radish (1lb)
- 1 bunch regular radishes
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 piece ginger - 3 inch nob (peeled)
- 3-4 green onions
- 60 ml. Korean dried red pepper powder (kochukaru) Can substitute (Red Boat brand) chili paste in a pinch
- 120 ml of unrefined sea salt (not kosher salt)
- 2 Quarts of filtered water
- 1 Tbs (tablespoons) tamari -gluten free only
- 1 Tbs (tablespoons) fish sauce- no preservatives
- (Organic only)
- MAKE BRINE AND SOAK CABBAGE
- Dissolve the sea salt in the filtered water.
- Slice the cabbage into 1 inch strips, slice core thin, peel and stem radishes and slice ¼ inch thick on mandoline.
- Add to the brine, soak for up to 6 hours drain into a colander and reserve 500-600 ml of liquid.
- IN FOOD PROCESSOR
- Prep garlic, ginger by peeling and roughly chopping them, and green onions slice ½ inch thick, tamari, fish sauce add to a food processor and make a paste. Adjust thickness and taste accordingly.
- MIX TOGETHER AND PACK INTO JARS
- Mix drained vegetables with paste and pack into jars tightly pressing down to remove air bubbles, forcing brine to rise above top of vegetable mass leaving 1 inch head room for expansion.
- Weigh down with glass weight fitted to mason jar and put on airlock device and fermenting 10-12 days to desired taste and texture.
- Taste daily after day 7-9 to find your best point for fermentation. Check to insure veggies are under brine always.
- Remove airlock and seal for refrigerator keeps up to 6 months.