If you are not familiar with kimchi, it is a fermented cabbage dish that is a staple food of Korea. The average Korean cannot go a single meal with out having kimchi as part of it. This fermented dish is a bit different than most because of it’s spicy nature. As it ferments the flavors of all the herbs blend together to create a delicious spicy dish that goes well with many foods. Remember if you are not used to eating fermented foods, start with eating a small amount each day before enjoying a whole dish or your digestive system will get quiet a wake up call.
- 1 large (5 pound) napa cabbage (or two medium sized-one pictured)
- 1/2 cup coarse salt
- 1/4 cup sweet rice flour (mochi)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup fish sauce (or soy sauce for a vegetarian version)
- 2 cups gochugaru (고추가루 Korean red chili flakes)
- 1/2 cup garlic (chopped very finely)
- 1 small onion (grated)
- 1 large apple (grated)
- 1 cup daikon radish (shredded)
- 1/4 cup carrot (shredded)
- 2 bunch green onions (sliced in 1/2 in pieces)
- Cut the napa cabbage in half, remove the core and slice the cabbage into 1 inch wide strips across.
- Soak the cabbage in cold water for 10 minutes.
- Place a layer of cabbage into a large bowl and sprinkle some salt onto the cabbage. Repeat until all of the cabbage is in the bowl and salted. (Use two bowls if needed.)
- Let the cabbage sit for 1 and 1/2 hours mixing it up every 1/2 hour.
- Rinse the cabbage three times, drain and set aside.
- Mix the flour and water in a small sauce pan and slowly heat. The mixture will become like a pudding texture. Remove from heat and let it cool.
- Mix flour mixture and the remaining ingredients, except the cabbage.
- Mix the vegetable porridge into the cabbage well using your hands to make sure that it covers all of the cabbage. Please consider wearing gloves for this step or you will get a lovely dose of hot peppers absorbed into your skin.
- Place the cabbage mixture into seal-able containers leaving about an inch of space at the top.
- Seal the container and let ferment at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- Place the container in the fridge and let ferment for a couple more days.
After you have let your Kimchi process for its required time it will have a bit of a tang to it. Great Job! You have made kimchi!
Now if you are looking for a recipe to cook with this there is a simple, popular, and delicious one to make.
Kimchi Fried Rice
Begin by getting rice cooking. When your rice is finished saute up to 1/4 cup of your kimchi (per serving). You may want to cut it up a bit more if you’d like. Add your rice and allow to fry for 5-10 minutes so the flavors combine. Add a splash of sesame oil and optionally cheese (if it is too spicy for you). You may also choose to top your fried rice with an egg. I hope you enjoy it-if you have a flavor for spicy food.
*This recipe was found online but no author was listed. I have made alterations to it but thank you to the author for their basic recipe. It was quite successful.
Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. The Dancing Herbalist posts on this blog every Thursday. For more of our posts, join us on Patreon. Jillian also presents regular live classes in The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online. For more learning opportunities or to work one-on-one with Jillian with her wellness and herbal consultationsvisit The Dancing Herbalist.com.