I had heard of Kimchi before but never really thought twice about it or had any interest in trying it until a couple years ago. I was working at The Toasted Frog in Bismarck, ND (if you’ve never been there you should go!) and the chef Travis made some. Now, I was never the first one to try many new foods; I liked my cheese burgers. I was also not a huge fan of fish. But, Travis was an amazing chef, so I had faith I would like almost anything he made. I now like and cook all sorts of fish, as well as other foods that were never on my grocery list; kimchi is one.
Kimchi is a spicy sauerkraut type dish from Korea. Beachu (cabbage) kimchi is what I made. I’m sure mine is not the “true” recipe but it turned out good and for growing up in northern Minnesota I’d say it’s a pretty ok version. It can also be made with a variety of other vegetables but as usual I used what I had in the garden. (This was one of my fall projects I never got around to sharing.)
1lblb. Bok Choi
1lblb. Napa Cabbage
Radishesequal to the amount of carrots
6eachHot Chili Peppers
1/4cupgrated Fresh Ginger
Using Kosher Salt (I think sea salt is usually recommended, but I didn't have any on hand), make a brine of about 8 cups of water to 1/2 cup of salt.
Coarsely chop the cabbage, carrots and radishes. Place these in your crock and cover with the brine.
Using a weight (heavy plate, jar, clean rock) weigh down the vegetables and let them sit over night.
Strain and reserve the brine.
The next day slice the onion and shallots.
Smash the garlic, grate the ginger and finely chop the peppers.
Add all of this to the crock again applying the weight.
Add some of the brine back in, just enough to cover the vegetables.
Place a flour sack towel over the top and all to ferment as you would when making sauerkraut.
Once it has fermented to the strength of your liking put the kimchi in clean jars in the refrigerator.
You can can this but you will loose a lot of the health benefits. It keeps for a very long time in the refrigerator.