We love cultured veggies for a variety of reasons. One: they are a great way to consume more nutrient rich vegetables, especially the tougher cruciferous ones, during the winter months when the availability of fresh produce might be lacking. Two: the process of fermentation softens the texture for easier chewing, no cooking required! Three: probiotic bacteria is so important for our overall immune system and digestive health, and cultured veggies prove to be a delicious way of consuming them! Three: you can make a huge batch of kimchi for just a few dollars! Learn how to make the perfect batch of delicious kimchi with Sarah Britton of My New Roots – and check out her site for trouble shooting tips in case something goes a bit array the first time you try it out.
2 Napa cabbage (2 kg total weight)
1 daikon radish
5 large carrots
1 bunch spring onions (about 7)
70 g fresh ginger
6 cloves garlic
scant 1/3 cup crushed red chili flakes
¼ cup good-quality sea salt
1 large glass jar (mine has 4-liter capacity)
1 large bowl
knife + cutting board
food processor or mortar and pestle
1. Wash all veggies. Chop cabbage into bite-sized chunks, julienne or grate carrots, daikon, and apple. Slice green onion. Place all vegetables in a very large bowl.
2. In a food processor blend ginger, garlic, and chili until well combined. Add this mixture to the bowl of vegetables along with the salt.
3. Mix and vigorously massage all ingredients together until the cabbage begins to soften and release fluid. Continue until you have a fair amount of liquid in the bottom of the bowl, about 4-5 minutes. The vegetables at this point should have lost much of their volume. Let the bowl sit out at room temperature for a few hours, massaging once or twice more. Season to taste.
4. In a large, sterilized jar (or several small ones), pack in the vegetables trying to avoid any air pockets, making sure to leave a few inches of space at the top of the jar for carbon dioxide. Cover the jar with a loosely with a lid, or make sure to open it periodically to release any pressure that may build up. Leave the jar on the counter for 2-4 days. You may see bubbles forming in the jar – this is carbon dioxide and totally normal. Taste the kimchi now and again. Once the flavour is to your liking, seal the jar and place in the fridge. Keeps for several months.
*Tip: After removing kimchi from the container to eat, push the remaining back down to keep most of the cabbage submerged in the brine (the liquid). This will help keep it fresh for longer.