EASY KOREAN RECIPE to FERMENT VEG at HOME
Fancy to add yourself to the army of uk health buddies in love with fermenting food at home? Why not, I say, especially if it's fun. Some go a step further swearing its therapeutic!
So, here the recipe me and my daughter use taken by a korean grandma. It's not spicy, great for elderly, children and anyone who, like me, doesn't like spicy food, also for the perfect friendly beginner fermented food eater. Fermented vegetables are called kimchi.
1 medium-sized whole chinese leaf cabbage (napa cabbage)
1/4 cup sea salt (or kosher salt)
Water (distilled or filtered)
1 tablespoon garlic, grated
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 Big Carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 or 2 Spring onions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1) Wash the cabbage with the water. Cut the cabbage lengthwise through the stem into quarters. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2-inch strips.
2) Place the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with half the salt. Massage the salt into the cabbage using your hands (you may want to use gloves), add the rest of the salt and continue to massage until the cabbage starts to soften a bit. Add enough water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top of the cabbage and weigh it down with something heavy, like a tin or two of beans. Let stand for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
3) Rinse the cabbage 3 times under cold water. Set aside to drain in a colander for about 15/20 minutes.
4) In the meantime, rinse and dry the bowl you used for salting. Add the grated garlic, grated ginger, sugar and water. Stir and set aside until the cabbage is ready.
5) Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and add it into the bowl where the garlic, ginger, sugar and water is. Add the carrots and spring onions!
6) Using your hands again, mix the cabbage together making sure the garlic, ginger, sugar and water is evenly coated throughout the cabbage. (Gloves are a good idea at this point :D)
7) Put the kimchi into a mason jar with a hermetic lid and press down on the kimchi until the brine (the liquid that comes out of the kimchi) rises to cover the vegetables but leaving some space at the top. Seal the jar.
8) You can place a bowl underneath the jar if you feel it might overflow. Let the jar stand at a cool room temperature, away from direct sunlight, for 1 - 5 days. If you see bubbles appearing, don't worry! This means that the fermentation process has started.
9) Check the kimchi once a day. It's a must. Open the jar and press down on the vegetables with a clean spoon to keep the kimchi submerged under the brine (this also releases the gases produced during the fermentation process otherwise there is too much pressure).
10) You can also taste a bit of the kimchi. When the kimchi suits your taste, you can transfer it to the fridge (but I prefer to keep it out at room temperature). You can eat it right away but apparently it's best after two weeks [although it doesn't last that long here].