CSA crew member Barb writes: “For a while there was an overabundance of bok choy and radishes in my fridge, and I adapted a Kimchi recipe to use it all up. At this time of year European cabbage, grated carrots or kohlrabi, and even finely chopped beet greens can be used. I was amazed at how a giant bowl of veggies disappeared into one little jar after brining and fermenting!
“Kimchi is used in everything from soups to pancakes, and as a topping on pizza and burgers. Most Koreans don’t go through a day without eating at least one dish containing this fermented vegetable condiment, which is considered one of the world’s healthiest foods. Koreans eat so much of this super-spicy condiment (40 pounds of it per person each year) that natives say “kimchi” instead of “cheese” when getting their pictures taken.”
- 1 large Chinese or Napa Cabbage
- 4 L water
- 1/2 cup coarse salt
- 1 small head garlic peeled and finely minced
- 2 inch fresh ginger peeled and minced
- 1/4 cup fish sauce (Vegetarians can use miso, salt, and/or dried seaweed instead of fish sauce.)
- 1/3 cup chili paste or 1/2 cup Korean chili powder
- 1 bunch green onions cut into 1-inch (3cm) lengths (use the dark green part, too, except for the tough ends)
- 1 medium daikon or watermelon radish or carrot peeled and grated
- 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
Slice the cabbage lengthwise in half, then slice each half lengthwise into 3 sections. Cut away the tough stem chunks.
Dissolve the salt in the water in a very large container, then submerge the cabbage under the water. Put a plate on top to make sure they stay under water, then let stand for 2 hours.
Mix the other ingredients in a very large metal or glass bowl.
Drain the cabbage, rinse it, and squeeze it dry.
Here’s the scary part: mix it all up.
Some recipes advise wearing rubber gloves since the chili paste can stain your hands.
Pack the kimchi in a clean glass jar large enough to hold it all and cover it tightly. Let stand for one to two days in a cool place, around room temperature.
Check the kimchi after 1-2 days. If it’s bubbling a bit, it’s ready and should be refrigerated. If not, let it stand another day, when it should be ready.
Once it’s fermenting, serve or store in the refrigerator. If you want, add a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds over the kimchi for serving.
Storage: Many advise to eat the kimchi within 3 weeks. After that, it can get too fermented.