Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Purple Napa Kimchi


We are never without a jar of homemade kimchi in our fridge. Seriously. It's been a favorite of the boys for years, so I always try to keep them stocked up.

Two pluses: you can use cabbage that's a little past its prime - it's a good use for cruciferous veggies that may have languished a little too long in the veggie bin - and it's super fast - it's ready in less than a week! So, on the off chance that they eat the last of a jar without letting me know, they'll only be without for a week.

At this point, I've shared plenty of versions of my kimchi. But I decided to post this one because of the purple Napa cabbage I'm using. I picked up this head from our new-to-us CSA (community-supported agriculture) box from Robina's Organics.


And I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful head of cabbage. Believe me: that is not a sentence I ever thought I'd utter. But the bright purple was luminous and I couldn't stop staring at it. Well, I stopped long enough to actually turn it into kimchi.

Now we're just waiting to see how the color changes as it ferments. We'll be opening up the jar on Friday to make kimchi burgers. Stay tuned.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 C salt 
  • enough warm water to submerge all the cabbage pieces
  • 7 to 8 C purple Napa cabbage, sliced or chopped into bite-sized pieces 
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1/3 C hot sauce (I used Trader Joe's Sriracha)
  • 1/2 C vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 T maple syrup
Procedure

In a large mixing bowl place salt and cabbage pieces. Add in enough warm water to dissolve the salt. Submerge the cabbage in the salt water and weigh it down with a plate, so it stays submerged. Let veggies soak and soften in the brine for 2 hours.

Once the veggies have finished soaking, drain, rinse it and squeeze it gently to remove excess liquid. Place everything in a large mixing bowl.


Use your hands (or tongs instead if you have any open cuts as the vinegar can sting) to thoroughly incorporate the hot sauce mixture with the veggies.


Pack the kimchi into a clean jar - or a few jars. Screw the lid on tightly and keep in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight (my pantry worked well for this) for 3-4 days. After 3 days, open the jar and look for tiny bubbles. If it’s begun to bubble, it’s ready to serve or to be refrigerated. If it hasn’t yet begun to bubble, leave it for another day. The kimchi will continue to ferment in your refrigerator and should be consumed within a month.

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