Want to know what your gut loves more than fermented food? Nothing!
Kimchi is a magical creation out of Korea that's recorded back to at least 300 AD. Magical in it's simplicity and deliciousness. And obviously it has stood the test of time. Fermented veggies (normally cabbage and radishes) that are salted and spiced. So. Yummy. Luckily for us, our Korean friend Jennie was willing to show us the ropes! Below is our first attempt!
1 head napa cabbage
1 Korean Radish (looks like a GIANT! white carrot)
1/2 C Coarse sea salt
6 cloves garlic
1 thumb of ginger
1 red bell pepper
1/2 yellow onion
4 green onions
1/2 C dried ground Korean red pepper
Vegan Fish Sauce (not as oxymoron as it sounds)
1 1/2 C water
6 pieces dried kelp (Dashimi, about the size of your palm)
5 dried shitake mushrooms
2T sweet rice flour
CUT CABBAGE FIRST (see steps 1 and 2 in Kimchi)
1. Combine water, dried shrooms, and kelp in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil ten minutes and remove kelp and mushrooms with chopsticks (bonus points for ninja skills). Save shrooms and kelp for soup!
2. Let broth cool. Then add rice flour and whisk whisk whisk.
3. Bring back to a boil, cook only until mixture thickens (and keep stirring). Remove prior to brown color developing. Set aside to cool once more.
1. Wash cabbage and peel off any gross looking outer leaves. Slice off bottom. Cut into quarters and then slice off core. Remove smaller leafy sections and cut into 1 inch pieces. Cut remaining quarters in half and slice into 1 inch pieces (see pictures below).
2. Place in large mixing bowl layered with salt. Layer of cabbage, layer of salt. Layer of cabbage, layer of salt. You get the picture. Let sit 20 minutes. Mix thoroughly with hands. Set aside for at least an hour, mixing every 20ish minutes.
3. Using mandolin slicer (almost everyone I know is scared of these...don't be, but also don't cut off your fingers) slice radish into thin strips. Your goal is about a cup and a half. Save the rest of this vegetable for soup!
4. Mince garlic and ginger finely, cut scallions in 2 inch chunks. Chunk up half a yellow onion and a red pepper.
5. Throw onion and red pepper into food processor. Give them a whirl until finely chopped, add cooled fish sauce and combine again. Set aside.
6. Once cabbage has sat for at least an hour, rinse thoroughly 3 times. Run through salad spinner if you have one, if not drain as best as possible. Cabbage will have reduced significantly.
7. Combine cabbage, radish, red pepper sauce, garlic, ginger, and ground red pepper. Mix with gloved hands...you don't want to get any of this fiery goodness in your eyeballs. Once combined, place in jar with room at the top (I have had kimchi jars explode in my kitchen and kept finding cabbage for months). Let sit for 3 days at room temperature and then enjoy! Place in refrigerator after day 3.
So go on...impress your friends with fermentation.
Lauren and Susan