Fermented Foods - Korean Style Kimchi

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Kimchi is Koreas national dish, it’s full of flavour and traditionally made from cabbage and a tangy, spicy sauce, mixed with salt, which kicks off the lacto-fermentation process. Naturally-occurring bacteria then convert the vegetable sugars into lactic acid which is a natural preservative. As the beneficial bacteria thrive, eating them helps your digestion.

Make your own kimchi and you can keep it in an airtight preserving jar, in the fridge for up to three months.

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We’ve adapted Jamie Oliver’s Kimchi recipe

Makes approximately 1 litre

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ingredients

  • 1 Chinese cabbage, quartered
  • 4 tbsp sea salt
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Korean shrimp paste (available on-line or Asian supermarkets, if you can’t get hold of it 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp sriracha chilli sauce
  • 200g daikon (A white radish that looks like a horseradish), or 8 normal radishes
  • 2 carrots cut into fine matchsticks, or coarsely grated
  • 6 spring onions, chopped into matchsticks

Method

  1. Remove the stalks from the cabbage, then chop it into 2 ½ cm pieces and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle over the sea salt and massage with your hands.
  2. Cover the cabbage with cold water and sit a plate on top to keep everything submerged. Set aside for 2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile make the kimchi paste. Place the garlic, ginger and sugar in a food processor and blitz to a smooth paste. Transfer it to a bowl and mix in the rice vinegar, shrimp paste and sriracha until combined.
  4. Tip the cabbage into a colander, rinse it thoroughly under cold water, then leave to drain for 30 minutes.
  5. Put the radishes, carrots and spring onions into a large bowl. Squeeze out any excess water from the cabbage, then add it to the bowl, along with the sriracha paste. Wearing disposable gloves, use your hands to mix it all thoroughly.

Other recipes in our fermented food series

Aubergine salad recipe