Thursday, June 14, 2012

Make your own kimchi

Fermented cabbage is an incredibly healthy dish. I recently used my homemade kimchi to cure an ulcer. Sadly, most of us have only tried commercial sauerkraut so think fermented cabbage is mushy, tasteless, and stinky. If you have been permanently scared away from the kraut but still want the benefits of the probiotics and vitamins of cabbagy goodness, why not give kimchi a try?

Wifezilla's Fermented Kimchi

6 heads of cabbage, cut in to bite sized chunks
2 pounds of carrots - sliced
1/2 pound of Ginger root - shredded
4 elephant garlic cloves - diced
Large bunch of chives - chopped
12-24 dried red chili pepper pods (the more you use the hotter it will be)
1/2 - 1 cup fine sea salt
1/4 cup whey
Filtered water
Sriracha Sauce (preferably fermented )
Daikon radish (optional)

Pound cabbage with salt*. Stir in other veggies. Add filtered water as needed to cover the cabbage mix. Cover with a ceramic weight or ziplock bags full of water to keep veggies below the brine level. Let sit for a couple of days. When it tastes how you like it, it's time to place your kimchi in jars. To each quart jar add 1 tbsp or more of the sriracha sauce. More sauce for more heat or less if you are a total wuss. Also add a dab or two of honey if you like a touch of sweetness with your sour. Leave some head space in each jar since it will continue to ferment, although slowly, in the refrigerator. Will be best after a week or two in the cold. Should keep for months so don't worry about making a big batch.

*A note on the salt... Based on recipes I found, they called for 1 cup of salt for every 2 heads of cabbage. I thought 1 cup would be a good starting point for 6 heads of cabbage. I was wrong. It was still too salty. Not EEEWW salty, but I had to rinse the veggies before putting it in jars and letting them ferment a bit more. A minor inconvenience, but you can avoid that by starting with 1/2 cup and tasting as you go.


DeAnne Daniel said...

Hi, Since this continues to ferment after placing in the refrigerator, should I leave the tops of my jars loose? Could they explode? I really want to try this, thanks for the recipe.

Linda said...

The fermentation slows down to the point that exploding isn't an issue. If you are worried, just "burp" the jar after a few weeks.... if your kimchi lasts that long! LOL