I took a big plunge a few weeks before Christmas and bought myself some books I have been wanting to get. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz to name a few. I have been checking out Nourishing Traditions from the library for the past 2 years, it was about time I bought my own copy.
I have been wanting to make kimchi for quite some time. I am hoping that I can get busy in 2012 and actually do some of the things like this that I keep putting off. It’s About Time! Kimchi isn’t hard to make. Sometimes I don’t have the ingredients, other times I seem to have no counter space or refrigerator space. It isn’t consistently cold here for me to leave fermenting things out in the garage or back porch or even the house and I don’t have a cellar or a basement.
A few months ago I read a post over at Hark work Homestead where Jane made her own version kimchi, she named it Janechi. I got a kick out of it and it made me move this closer to to the top of the list, especially with all the things growing in the garden right now.
I took a road trip last week to Austin and went to check out an organic farm called Boggy Creek Farm that located a few miles from downtown Austin. I was able to pick up a few things with kimchi in mind.
- Carrots (organic) – market
- Ginger – market
- Anaheim Peppers – in the freezer from fall garden
- Green onions – from the neighbors garden
- Garlic – harvested earlier this year from my garden
- Cabbage – Boggy Creek Farm – Austin, TX
- Radishes – Boggy Creek Farm – Austin, TX
A few days later Victoria over at The Soffritto, one of the participants in South Region for the Dark Days Challenge emailed and mentioned she was making a quick kimchi for taco that night. I seem to be surrounded. TIME TO MAKE KIMCHI!
Next I had a slight dilemma. Should I made the recipe from Nourishing Traditions or the one from Wild Fermentation… I went with Wild Fermentation only because I had used all the whey I had on hand in a loaf of bread (the Nourishing Traditions recipe uses whey). I will have more whey than I know what to do with soon because I will be making some more soft yogurt cheese this week and also some cheddar cheese too. I figure I will mix up another batch of kimchi from the Nourishing Traditions recipe then and compare the two.
I am not one to measure a lot of things, so I just chopped and shredded my veggies. Since this is the first time I am making kimchi I did sort of pay attention to the quantities of the vegetables. I did carefully measure out the water and the salt for the brine. 1 cup water to 1 T non-iodized salt. Mix up enough brine to cover your veggies. Making kimchi is a two-part process.
Take you cabbage, carrot and radish and soak a few hours or over night in the salt brine (or until the vegetable are soft.)
Drain the vegetables, saving the brine solution (you may need some of it).
Add the garlic, onion, ginger, pepper (either in a paste form or chopped) to the the cabbage mixture. Pack entire mixture into 1 or 2 glass quart canning jars. If there isn’t enough brine coming out of the veggies as you pack the jar, then top off the jar with the reserved brine.
I completely forgot to add the chopped green onions in part two, even though they were right in front of me! I know those missing onions would have added a lot more flavor – oh well, next time. (you can see my nice green onions sitting there in the below photo next to the packed jar of kimchi)
Weigh down your mixture with a jar, baggie filled with liquid. Anything that will keep the shredded vegetables submerged under the brine water. Check it everyday to make sure they are submerged. Start tasting your kimchi after a week.
I can already see that kimchi is a process that will be ongoing. It will continue to ferment and enrich the flavor even after the first week is up. You may want to let it sit and ferment longer or just eat it after the first week. Either way, I can see in another week or two I will want to start another batch.
I finally made Kimchi! I am anxious to taste it. I am also anxious to take a page from Jane and her “Janechi” and use other vegetables like chard, asian greens and kale.
Have you every made kimchi? Do you have any advice for me?