This is by far my favourite Kimchi recipe to date. I say to date, as I have no intention of getting off the experimentation bus, and neither should you.
Kimchi is the national dish of Korea and consists of vegetables which are salted and fermented with garlic, ginger and chilli etc. It’s eaten as a side dish or used as a condiment. I can’t get enough of its umami goodness, smug in the knowledge that every bite is ridiculously good for me has a significant effect on gut health.
- 2 chinese leaf cabbages
- 4 tbsp salt
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled & sliced
- 5 cm fresh ginger, peeled & sliced
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp chilli powder (ideally Korean gochugaru)
- 10 spring onions, finely sliced
I use a large kilner jar with a water trap that prevents pressure building up during the lacto-fermentation process. If you don’t have one yourself, you may want to pop open the lid on your jar every now and again until it’s ready to go in the fridge.
- Separate a couple of the larger outer leaves from one of the cabbages and set aside.
- Chop the remaining cabbage into 5cm chunks and discard the tough core.
- Place in a large bowl with the salt and give it all a good scrunch up.
- Pour in enough cold water to cover the cabbage and leave to stand for 2 hours with a plate over the top to keep it all submerged in the brine.
- Rinse the salt from the cabbage in a colander, reserving the brine. Leave it to stand for half an hour to drain thoroughly.
- In a mortar and pestle (or small food processor), mash the ginger, garlic, chilli and sugar together into a paste.
- Squeeze any excess water from the cabbage and then thoroughly mix all of the ingredients together.
- Pack the mixture into your glass jar, pushing it all down until the juices rise up.
- Use the reserved outer leaves to hold everything down and stop smaller pieces floating to the surface.
- You need to make sure that you leave a reasonable air gap at the top, and that the cabbage remains submerged (you can top it up with the reserved brine if necessary).
- Seal your jar and leave it to ferment for 3 to 5 days before transferring to the fridge (you’ll want to see bubbles forming to show that fermentation has started).
- Leave your Kimchi to slowly ferment in the fridge for at least a few more days before eating.
- Stored in the fridge, it will last for up to three months.