Basic Cabbage Kimchi
Timeframe: One week (or longer)
Ingredients (for 1 litre)
- Sea salt
- 500gms Chinese cabbage
- A few red radishes
- 1 large carrot
- 1-2 onions, leeks, chives or spring onions
- 2-4 cloves of garlic (or more!)
- 3-4 red hot chillies, fresh or dried (to taste)
- 3 tbs fresh grated ginger
- Mix a brine of about 1 litre of water and 3-4 tbs of salt. Stir well to thoroughly dissolve the salt. The brine should taste good and salty.
- Coarsely chop the cabbage, slice the radish and carrots, and let the vegetables soak in the brine, covered by a plate or other weight to keep the vegetables submerged, until soft, a few hours or overnight. Add other vegetables to the brine, such as snow peas, seaweeds, bean sprouts, Jerusalem artichokes, anything you like.
- Prepare spices: grate the ginger; chop the garlic and onion’ remove seeds from the chillies and chop or crush, or throw them in whole. Kimchi can absorb a ot of spice. Mix spices into a paste.
- Drain brine off vegetables, reserving brine. Taste vegetables for saltiness. You want them to taste decidedly salty but not unpleasantly so. Rinse or add salt accordingly.
- Mix the vegetables with the spice mixture paste. Mix everything together thoroughly and stuff it into a clean litre jar. Pack it tightly into the jar, pressing down until brines rises. If necessary, add a little of the reserved vegetable soaking brine to submerge the vegetables. Weight the vegetables down with a smaller jar or a zip-lock bag filled with some brine.
- Ferment in your kitchen or other warm place. Taste the kimchi every day. After about a week of fermentation, when it tastes ripe, move it to the refrigerator.