Kimchi, kimchee, or gimchi is a traditional Korean side dish, it is made of fermented vegetables with a variety of spicy seasonings. I must admit that the first time I saw it it didn’t look too appealing but its tangy complex flavour has been growing on me and I have been adding it to salads, rice, noodles… you name it.
Chinese cabbage is the most common vegetable used to make kimchi but some recipes also add radish, carrots, cucumber and scallions. Kimchi has been getting great reviews for its nutritional benefits. It’s a side dish low in calories and full of Lactobacillus, the bacteria present in yogurt that aids with digestion and keeps your gut in top shape.
You only need a few ingredients and just a couple of days to ferment it.
• 1 large Chinese cabbage
• 4 liters of water
• 100 grams of coarse salt
• 1 piece (6 cm) fresh ginger
• 1/4 cup of fish sauce (you can skip it if you are vegan/vegetarian)
• 1/3 cup of chili paste or 1/2 cup chili powder
• 6 spring onions, cut in small 1/2 cm pieces
• 1/2 korean radish or daikon, peeled and cut into small sticks
• 1 tablespoon of honey
Cut the cabbage lengthwise in half and then cut each half into 4-5 sections. Discard the tougher parts of the trunk.
Dissolve the salt in a large bowl with water and submerge the cabbage. Place a dish on top so the cabbage stays below the water. Leave it for 2-3 hours.
Mix all other ingredients in a large bowl of metal or glass. Strain out the cabbage, wash it with cold water and squeeze dry. Mix the cabbage with the remaining ingredients with your hands (you can use plastic gloves, the chili can burn…).
Pack the cabbage very tight in a clean glass jar and close it tightly trying not leave any space for air on the top of the jar. Let the kimchi ferment 1-2 days at room temperature. When you notice some small bubbles it means that it is ready and should be refrigerated.
Store in refrigerator 4-6 weeks.
It might take a while before you get used to the flavour, but once you do you’ll love it! ♡