Kimchi, from what I gather, is sort of like the Korean version of sauerkraut. And by “sort of,” I mean very generally speaking, and probably not at all, if you were to ask someone who knows what they’re talking about. Don’t mind my rambling… They at least have the fermentation thing in common, and while kimchi can use a wide variety of vegetables (and so can sauerkraut), it tends to contain cabbage, just like a good traditional ‘kraut.
There are likely as many ways to make your own homemade kimchi as there are people making it, but no matter what’s in it, the process is basically the same: shred or chop some vegetables, add some kind of sauce, then let it sit on the counter for a few days to give those beneficial probiotics a chance to multiply.
Use your homemade kimchi as a topper for sandwiches or as a side dish itself, and you’re adding a punch of flavor as well as an extra health kick!
I’m offering my recipe, but feel free to use whatever vegetables you have lying around and experiment with the sauce. Just make sure you can handle the heat if you’re adding lots of pepper. My first batch was an attempt to keep things fairly traditional, so I added about 1/3 cup of hot pepper flakes. Tasted good, but just about melted my face off. So start slow if you’re not sure.
- 1-2 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1-2 cups shredded bok choy or napa cabbage
- 1 small bunch scallions, chopped
- 2-3 carrots, grated
- 1 medium daikon radish, grated
- 1-2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp - 1/4 cup Korean pepper (or regular red pepper flakes)
- 2 Tbsp sea salt
- 1 decent-sized chunk of ginger
- 3 cloves garlic
- Place all the sauce ingredients in a food processor and pulse until pureed and fairly smooth.
- Combine all the vegetables in a large bowl. Pour sauce over the top, then mix well with a spoon or your hands, making sure everything is evenly coated. Let it sit out for a couple hours to relax.
- Pour the mixture into a clean quart jar, packing it down if necessary. The juices/sauce should cover the vegetables; if not, you can add a little water (non-chlorinated!).
- Cover, but not too tightly, and let sit on the counter for a few days. It should be a little bubbly after 24-48 hours.
- Store in the fridge and enjoy!
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