Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 08/06/2013 - 8:37am
- 1/3 cup coarse salt
- 2 cups non-chlorinated water
- 2 pounds vegetables, napa cabbage, plus optional mustard greens, bok choy, or daikon
- 1/2 head garlic
- 1 large or 2 small onions
- 1 piece (1/2 inch) gingerroot
- Up to 1/2 cup Korean red pepper powder, chopped or ground red peppers, or pepper flakes
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
- a few scallions or a length of Korean “long onion” (which is more or less, a mature scallion)
- Wide-mouthed mason jars (2 pints or 1 quart)
- In a mixing bowl, dissolve the salt in the water to make brine.
- Cut up the 2 pounds of vegetables.
- Put cut vegetables into the brine and mix, using clean hands. Cover the bowl and let sit overnight or at least 6 hours, then drain the vegetables thoroughly in a colander. Taste them- they should be salty, but not unpleasantly so.
- Peel the garlic, onions, and ginger.
- Blend the onions, garlic, and ginger in a food processor and add enough water to allow them to blend properly.
- Add the red pepper, sugar, and fish sauce, if using, to the food processor, adding just enough water to create a paste.
- Cut the scallions diagonally into 1-inch lengths, add them to the food processor, and mix the paste with a wooden spoon.
- Move the drained vegetables into a large bowl and mix them with the seasoning paste. Taste the kimchi- if it is not salty enough, add more salt and stir.
- Pack the kimchi tightly into the mason jars, leaving 1-inch of space at the top. Try to pack it down well enough to squeeze out most of the air bubbles along the side of the jar. Close the jar.
- Leave the jar on the counter at room temperature for a few days. Taste it every day or two. It should start to taste a bit “wild.” When you like the way it tastes, put it in a cellar or a refrigerator to store or bury it in the ground. The cooler the temperature, the slower the subsequent fermentation.
Adapted from Real Food Fermentation: Preserving Whole Fresh Food with Live Cultures in Your Home Kitchen by Alex Lewin