Korean Kimchi (with cabbage)
Kimchi is a traditional Korean fermented dish with spices, which tastes great and in Korea is served with almost every meal! Along with being a digestive aid, it supports a healthy microbiome and immunity as it possesses anti-bacterial, anti-cancer properties and protects against free radical damage (1).
Makes approx. 1 liter
1 medium head (800 g) cabbage, such Napa or white, thinly sliced
¼ cup sea salt
1.5 litres filtered water
1 tbsp. garlic cloves, grated
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
¼ cup Korean red pepper flakes (or hot chilli flakes)
2 tsps. sugar
2 tbsps. fish sauce
200 g Korean radish or daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks (alternatively, use carrots)
4 spring onions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tbsp. salted brine shrimp (optional)
Quarter the cabbage, remove the stalks before chopping it into 4 cm pieces. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with salt, massaging it into the leaves
Cover the cabbage in filtered cold water, sit a plate on top to keep submerged and leave overnight (minimum of 12 hours)
Rinse the cabbage thoroughly under cold water, before leaving to drain in a colander for 30 mins
Meanwhile, mix the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, sugar, fish sauce and salted shrimp into a paste
Add the spring onions, daikon (or carrots), and dried cabbage in a large bowl and mix in the spice mix, using your hands (you may need to use gloves)
Transfer the cabbage mixture to a large airtight container, pressing it down so it is covered by its own juices, and leaves a gap at the top, before sealing
Leave the container out in room temperature for 3-5 days (depending on your taste preference), opening and letting out some gas daily and pressing down the vegetables in the liquid. Once the taste has developed, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks (or longer – remember it will continue to develop it’s taste and smell!).
Have you tried this? Then please leave a comment and let me know how you got on.
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(1) Perlmutter, Dr. D. (2015). Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain - for Life. UK: Yellow Kite