Last week my little blog had an anniversary! I’ve been occupying this small corner of the internet for three years now. Goodness time has flown by! I’m so very thankful for the friends it has brought into my life. It is such an amazing feeling to find people that share my interests– people that give a damn where their food comes from and believe that it makes a difference. Making food does more than just nurture my body, it nutures my soul. Thank you for stopping back week after week to see what I’ve been doing– I am truly grateful.
I suppose you’re expecting a celebratory cake recipe, but no, today I’m marking the occassion with…kimchi! You know I’m a sucker for fermented foods (they are so ridiculously healthy for you)– this homemade sauerkraut gets made ever month in our house. Kimchi is along the same lines– it’s also lacto-fermented– but it’s made with a different type of cabbage and a couple of other vegetables. The red color comes from a Korean ground red pepper called gochugaru. It has a wonderful flavor. Finding gochugaru can be a bit of a hunt, even in a large city. Definitely check an Asian specialty store. I found mine at United Noodles in Minneapolis. You can also order in online at Amazon. A package will last you awhile, so you won’t have to reorder very often. Kimchi is easy to make and doesn’t take very long to ferment. It’s as simple is mixing up a flavorful paste with garlic, ginger, and the gochugaru and tossing it with the vegetables. If you love kimchi, there is absolutely no reason not to make your own.
The big question is, what do you do with kimchi once you’ve made it? The possibilities are endless, really. Toss some into a batch of fried rice, throw some into your stir-fry, put it into soups, eat it with dumplings, or straight out of the jar. I love to eat it on a pizza with spicy ground pork. It adds that extra “oomph” that some dishes need. Make it. You’ll be happy that you did!
The Recipe: Homemade Kimchi
(makes nearly 2 quarts)
1 /3 cup kosher salt
1 (3 1/2 pound) head napa cabbage, remove core and cut cabbage into 2-inch strips
7 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
12 ounce daikon (white radish) peeled and cut into matchsticks
7 garlic cloves, smashed
3 tablespoons fish sauce (or water, if making vegetarian)
1 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
5 tablespoons gochugaru (less to taste)
To prepare the cabbage: Place the cut cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Massage well so the the cabbage starts to soften and become watery. Then add enough filtered water to cover the cabbage. Weigh it down with a plate and then place something heavy on the plate. Let it stand for 1-2 hours.
Meanwhile, make the red pepper paste. In a small bowl, add the ginger, garlic, fish sauce, sugar, and gochugaru. Mix until uniform. Set aside.
When the cabbage is ready, rinse it with cold water about 3 times. You want to thoroughly wash the salt off of it. Then drain in a colander for 15 minutes and gently squeeze out any remaining water. Return to the bowl that has since been cleaned. Add the daikon, green onions, and red pepper paste and gently mix with your hands (use gloves, if you want) to coat all of the vegetables. Pack the kimchi into clean jars and press down until the brine covers the vegetables. Leave about an 1-inch space at the top of the jars (you will just be shy of 2 quarts for this recipe, so space shouldn’t be an issue).
Let the jars stand at room temperature for 1-5 days ( I generally do 5 days, but it’ll depend upon the temperature of your house). There may be some bubbling action and you may want to open the jar to release some of the gas, so it doesn’t bubble over and create a mess. Taste it along the way, when it is fermented to your liking, put it into the refrigerator. The flavors will continue to enhance when it’s been in the refrigerator for a while. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from The Kitchn
Thanks for stopping by!