Whenever I go to a Korean restaurant, my favorite part is always the kimchi. The pickled cabbage; pickled radishes; tofu cake; strange little eels; spicy, gleaming fish with chili powder… I could go on. It’s sour, spicy and tangy at the same time. Refreshing and crunchy. Mmmm…
I love kimchi so much, that when I was in Seoul, I visited the kimchi museum and learned all about how it was made hundreds of years ago. Apparently, kimchi is wonderful for you. Something about those microorganisms that helps your digestion. The primary fermenter in that delicious Korean staple is Lactobacillus plantarum. The little guys that make the mixture sour are Leuconostoc mesenteroides, which start the whole thing. Learn more about kimchi!
And for the first time today, I’m starting to make my own kimchi. I’m using the book “Wild Fermentation,” written by Sandor Ellix Katz, which has a variety of excellent recipes.
To make kimchi, I bought two food-grade two-quart containers at Target and assembled my ingredients:
Kimchi, Step I
1 Napa cabbage, roughly chopped
Garlic cloves, about 15
2 red peppers
2 kohlrabis, peeled and chopped
about 10 cups water
8 Tbsp of salt
1. I divided the water into the two food containers and also split the salt, dissolving it into the water.
2. The chopped cabbage, bell peppers, garlic cloves and kohlrabi were combined and split into the two containers.
3. I packed down the vegetables in the brine and covered the vegetables with a bowl so that they stayed underneath the brine. I filled a jar with water and placed it on top of the bowl to further weigh down the vegetables.
4. Everything soaks overnight so that the vegetables pick up some of the brine!
Stay tuned for step II!