Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fermented Cabbage, Korean-Style

I dare not call this kimchi for fear of offending my Korean friends. Let's just call it 'kimchi-style.' I've received several heads of cabbage in my CSA box over the past couple of weeks and was looking for something new to do with them.

Last week I made a purple cabbage coleslaw. Tonight I decided to try a fermented cabbage. I started with a kimchi recipe by Gabi Moskowitz, the BrokeAss Gourmet...and immediately made some adjustments based on what I had in my cupboard. I haven't actually gotten to the final stages, or the enjoyment part, but I'll keep you posted on the results.

1/2 C Hawaiian red alaea sea salt
enough warm water to submerge all the cabbage
1-1/2 heads cabbage (I used 1 whole green and 1/2 purple)
1 T minced garlic
1/2 C Korean chili paste
1/2 C white balsamic vinegar
3 T honey

In a very large mixing bowl dissolve the salt in warm water. Submerge the cabbage into the salt water and weigh it down with a plate, so it stays submerged. Let cabbage soak and soften in the brine for 2 hours.
A few minutes before the cabbage finishes soaking, combine the minced garlic, Korean chili paste, vinegar, and honey in a large bowl. Stir well to combine. Once the cabbage has finished soaking, drain, rinse it and squeeze it gently to remove excess liquid.

Use your hands (or tongs instead if you have any open cuts as the chilies and garlic can sting) to thoroughly incorporate the chili mixture with the cabbage.

Pack the kimchi into a clean jar - or a few jars - and screw the lid on tightly. 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. After 4 days, you should notice a few tiny bubbles throughout the jar and can either serve your kimchi or put it in the refrigerator. The kimchi will continue to ferment in your refrigerator and should be consumed within a month.

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