How to Make Kimchi
Kimchi is my second stage after sauerkraut in leaning to make gut healing fermented food. The fermented vegetable side dish is a staple of traditional Korean cuisine and goes perfectly with bibimbap (click here for a bibimbap recipe). Kimchi is made up of cabbage, onion, garlic, ginger and salt. Traditional Korean kimchi uses nappa cabbage but this can be tricky to get hold of in western supermarkets. I've found using Chinese or savoy cabbage works fine too. As with sauerkraut avoid shop brought kimchi as it will most likely have been pasteurised, killing off the gut healthy bacteria which makes this side dish such a super food.
Follow the method below to get making your own kimchi.
2 Nappa, Chinese or savoy cabbages, chopped
3 medium carrots, grated
1 white onion, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1-2 chillis, finely chopped
1 inch piece of fresh root ginger, grated
2 large pinches of sea salt
3 tablespoons of kimchi base or sriracha sauce
The ingredients listed above should fill 1 large 2 litre glass jar and keep you stocked up with kim chi for a couple of weeks. I normally make a double batch as I go through it so quickly. Remember to never use plastic or metal containers to store fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut or kombucha as the fermentation process will corrode the container and spoil the food.
1. Chop & Grate
Start by chopping and grating the ingredients and add them to a large mixing bowl.
2. Crush & Squeeze
The fun messy part! Add the kimchi base or sriracha sauce and use both hands to crush and squeeze the veg, breaking it down so the juice comes out and mixes in with the salt.
3. Pack & Seal
Finally put the broken down veg into the glass jar and pack down tight. I use wooden spoon, pestle or my hand to pack. Aim to make sure there is at least a 1 inch gap left at the top of the jar and the veg is covered in its juice to ferment. If not it may go mouldy. Leave the jar at room temperature for 3-4 days before eating. You will need to open the jar 1-2 times a day to let the build up of gas out for the first few days of fermentation. If find kimchi tastes best after a couple of weeks and will keep for just over 4 weeks. You will find that the taste gets stronger as it's let to age.
If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the space below.