Kimchi is a terrific addition to your daily list of foods that are “good and good for you.” Kimchi acts as a probiotic – foods that are helpful in maintaining good gut health. The ingredients in kimchi have impressive anti-inflammatory properties. I typically bring a 1/3 cup serving to school with me every day. I eat it before lunch, knowing it’s doing great things for my intestinal flora. Kimchi is great on its own or as a side dish for a main. Another way I have been eating it is as a topping for my Avocado Toast.
The recipe I have for you has been cobbled together by scrolling through various websites, and from speaking to my Korean students. I’ve had them taste my kimchi and they’ve brought in samples of homemade batches. A few tips and tricks later, and I have a sound recipe to share. The ingredients, as listed, will make about a litre of kimchi. I typically double the recipe because the longer it ferments, the tastier it gets! I invite you to play around with this combination of spices according to your level of heat tolerance.
Kimchi is really easy to make. The hard part, is waiting for it to ferment and be ready to eat! I leave mine on the counter, burping it morning and night and after about five days, it’s ready to go into the fridge to stay for months and months…although, it does not last that long in my house!
Give it a go! Add this fermented goodness to your daily routine and reap the rewards of being kind to your gut. As always, eat good food 🙂
- 1 head of Chinese/napa cabbage
- 1/4 cup sea salt or kosher salt
- water, enough to cover the cabbage
- 1 to 3 Tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes, +3 tablespoons water (OR seafood flavor, optional)
- 10-15 cms daikon radish, peeled and cut into 5cm matchsticks
- 4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
- 1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
- 1 medium bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
- 1 apple, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 4-5 garlic cloves, chopped or crushed
- 1 generous thumb of ginger, chopped or grated
- Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2 cm strips. Place the shredded cabbage into a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Use your hands to massage the salt into the cabbage. You’ll feel it start to break down and soften after 2-3 minutes. Next, add water, just enough to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top and weigh it down with a heavy can. Let this stand for about 90 minutes.
- While the cabbage is resting, combine the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and 3 tablespoons of water (or seafood flavor) in a small bowl and mix this together to form a paste.
- Prep the daikon radish, carrot, scallions, and apple, and set aside.
- After 90 minutes, tip the cabbage into a colander and give it a quick rinse under cold water. Squeeze out the water and allow this to drain.
- After rinsing the original bowl, place the cabbage back into it along with the apple, veg, and seasoned paste. Use your hands to gently work the paste into the vegetables and fruit until everything is thoroughly coated. Gloves are optional here!
- Finally, pack the kimchi into the jar, pressing down until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave about 2 cms of headspace and seal the jar with the lid.
- Let the jar stand in an obvious spot on your counter, at room temperature, for 3-5 days. Every morning and evening, open the lid to let out the built up gas. You might be lucky and get to see it bubbling away, inside the jar! When the kimchi ferments to your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator. Kimchi gets better over time. The longer you leave it, the better it will be!