Thursday, 9 July 2009

Kimchi

Inspired by the book 'Wild Fermentation', and by the abundance and freshness of Chinese Cabbage at the moment, I decided to try my hand at making Kimchi.

It was a lot of fun! It is easy, fun, interesting, satisfying and super-easy (but I think I mentioned that already) to make Kimchi. I can't get over how EASY it was. There are a lot of recipes in the book that I am keen to try.

Anyway, let's get started. Uh, before I do, please excuse poor quality of pictures. New camera, new glasses. Bad combination. I'm working on it.
Cut up Chinese Cabbage, throw in bowl, together with any vegetables that you'd like to have in your Kimchi. I added carrots, leeks (home-grown), radish (a big one from the garden), celery (home-grown from Neighbour Gnomes).

Add brine and let soak for several hours or overnight, until vegetables are soft-ish, but still have a bit of crunch.Drain. Keep brine. Make spice mixture. Grate ginger, finely chop chilli, onions and garlic. As much of each ingredient as you like.Add spices to drained veggies. Mix thoroughly.
Squeeze into jars. Tightly pack jars until juices come up. Or add a bit of the brine you kept from the bowl of soaking vegetables. Make sure the brine covers the vegetables. Get some clean jars (filled with some water) that fit into the jars. Push into the jar with the vegetables. Cover with towel to keep out dust, flies, hungry people.
Let ferment for a week or longer, then put in fridge and enjoy. :)

As you can see, I made two different batches. The more colourful batch has lots of different veggies and tons of the freshly chopped/ground spices. The 'paler' batch, only contains chinese cabbage, carrots and a less spicy mixture.

6 comments:

Julie said...

Yum. Kimchi has been on my To Do list for about... er... a year!I despair of my cabbages ever growing big enough to pick so I'll have to rely on the tasty-looking ones at the markets. Thanks for the nudge :-)

Veggie Gnome said...

Go for it! It's great fun! I had to buy *shudder* cabbage, too. I can't rely on mine either. One day... or so I'm hoping. :)

michelle in nz said...

Yay for great results, I'll watch from afar (dodgy and surgically shortened innards can't cope with Kimchi any which way).

Please describe the flavours and textures once its matured - my taste buds will be with you,

Michelle in Wellington, NZ

Kel said...

hey, new camera noticable! yum kimchi,

Abbie said...

I am going to have to try these. I am a Korean adoptee, and just recently began learning how to make Korean dishes. I actually haven't tried traditional cabbage kimchi, but I have made kimchi out of garlic chive and korean dikon radish. My husband's Korean grandmother makes her kimchi with crushed red-pepper flakes, garlic, and shredded white radish. These recipes sound colorful and yummy. Thanks for the tips! Abbie

Veggie Gnome said...

Michelle, do you know Sauerkraut? Same texture, but flavour is a bit spicier. Very, very nice. Especially if you have grown up with Sauerkraut and love Asian-style pickles. If you are not used to lacto-fermented vegetables, you may not be that keen on them.

Abbie, you can use whatever ingredients take your fancy. The principle remains the same. Must try the version with red-pepper flakes, garlic and shredded white radish. Thanks for the recipe. I have a big daikon radish in the garden as I type. Just waiting to be used in this recipe. :)