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Variety is the spice of life - chili is just spicy and so is kimchi.
December 7, 2014
Fermenting your own foods is easy and once you get past the initial hesitation, you will find yourself seeking things to ferment. Like any hobby, it can be very addicting, but the best part is how healthy fermented foods & drinks are.
One of my husband’s favorites is kimchi. I, have always been afraid of it. It was foreign and it smelled off so I never tried it. I made it for him though. It wasn’t until half way through the first batch, and even after the kids said they loved it, that I finally tried it – and it wasn’t bad. I cheat and use a premade mix, but I still cut all the veggies by hand. I even got a kimchi crock from Korea to make it in.
Kimchi is the Korean National dish. Traditionally it is made with Napa cabbage and additional ingredients as gobo, radish (daikon or other similar types, garlic and chili. It has a spicy & sour taste, like you would expect from fermented cabbage, but it’s the chili that makes kimchi stand out. If you do not like spicy foods, you can tone back the amount of kick, but be forewarned – even using the mix, like I do, the powder has a way of making it up your nostrils and making you sneeze and choke/cough. I thought twice about ever making it again. Then when I made it again, I thought twice about ever making it again, again. That stuff gets up there and won’t let go!
The latest batch (pictured) is spicier than the first. I think it is the radish that did it. I have no clue what type it is, it was in the dollar bin at Zion Market…and you can’t beat a 5# bag of radish for $1. I also added fresh garlic cloves and gobo (or burdock). I always deviate from the recipes so instead of following the directions I will give you, I allowed the cabbage to sit in salt water for 24 hours, then after adding the spice mix, I let it sit for another 2 days before it went into the refrigerator.
I even got a traditional kimchi crock to make it in, but any crock or fermenting vessel will work just as well. You can experiment with your batch to see which way you prefer. Everyone’s taste buds are different :) Depending on the amount you want, shred cabbage, add radish, garlic, cucmbers (or other veggies you like). You will soak the cabbage in 1g water with 1c salt for 24 hours. Drain then add mix and any other veggies and either put straight in the fridge or ferment for a few more days, then put in the fridge. Enjoy!