Spicy and sour, kimchi (aka kimchee or gimchi) is a traditional fermented Korean main dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings. There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi made from main ingredients such as napa cabbage, radish, scallion, or cucumber. In traditional preparation, kimchi is fermented in jars stored underground for months.
Brine: For each cup of vegetables use 1 TBSP raw vinegar and/or fresh squeezed lemon and enough water to cover the vegetables.
Try turnips, okra, beans, eggplant, or other favorite vegetables that are in season.
- 1 daikon radish or a few red radishes, sliced into half moons
- 2 carrots, sliced into half moons
- 2 green tomatoes or tomatillos, chopped
- 1 medium onion (leeks, scallions, or shallots may be substituted, to taste)
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium-size chile peppers (jalapeno for mild heat, habanero for more kick), chopped
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon any brand Himalayan pink salt
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. “Massage” the mixture with your hands, grabbing handfuls and squeezing repeatedly until vegetables are wilted and excess water is squeezed out.
Spoon kimchi mixture into a quart-size jar with a wide mouth. Pack tightly, pressing hard until brine rises; the vegetables must be submerged to avoid mold forming. Loosely cover jar with a lid.
Allow kimchi to ferment at room temperature for about a week. Each day, press the mixture down to keep vegetables submerged in the brine. The longer it ferments, the more sour it becomes.
When kimchi is fermented to your taste, store in the refrigerator.