Note from Shannon: I am pleased to bring the voices of our lovely contributors to this space every Tuesday. Please welcome Suzanne, Cultures for Health Customer Representative and Cultured Kitchen-Keeper.
Every Tuesday, I pick up my vegetable box from a local farm, gazing in wonder at all the amazing vegetables. This week, my focus went immediately to the Napa cabbage and bunch of green onions…Kimchi!
I have used other recipes, with very detailed soaking and salting instructions, but this week, to save time, I decided to use the Simple Kimchi Recipe, with a few variations. I only received one head of cabbage and one bunch of onions, so I halved the recipe.
I love to add grated carrots to my sauerkraut, so why not to kimchi, as well? If you use a box grater like I do, leave the large end on your carrot while grating, to keep from scraping your knuckles on the grater. Ouch!
I added 3 medium-sized carrots, finely grated, to this batch. Also, just for fun, I added a coarsely grated turnip.
Once all the veggies were prepared, I added them to my 3-gallon crock and sprinkled them with salt. I always knead my vegetables by hand, so I left the hot peppers out until the end.
Since I am short, it’s easier for me to work with my crock when it’s placed on a chair, as I prefer kneading by hand, rather than pounding with a tool.
I knead the vegetables until there is enough liquid to cover everything completely. This combination of vegetables required just a couple of minutes’ kneading.
I added in one jalapeño pepper, minced, for a little kick, and pressed everything down until it was covered with the liquid. Then I put a plate into the crock, resting on top of the vegetables, with a jar of water on top to weigh it down, covered the crock with a dish towel, and let it sit for 3 days.
We’ve had a few days of wonderful summer weather, so I had to put the crock in a back bedroom that stays cool. I prefer to allow vegetables to culture longer at cooler temperatures, for a better texture, but with no air conditioning, the options are limited. So I let the kimchi culture for 2 days, then stored it in a jar in the fridge, where it will continue to culture slowly and develop in flavor…if it lasts that long.