Kimchi is Korean fermented cabbage that tastes great on it’s own, with a protein, or in a salad / sandwich! Pretty easy to make on your own, and can be made mild or spicy depending on how much Korean Pepper flakes you use! Fermented foods are a source of live, active microbes that can be a great addition of prebiotics and probiotics to your diet. If you’re interested in cultivating healthy gut bacteria, improving immunity, preventing disease, or improving digestion, fermented foods are a great “real food” to add to your menu this week!
- 1 medium head napa cabbage (2 lbs.)
- 1/4 c iodine-free / kosher sea salt
- Distilled water
- 1 Tbsp grated garlic (5-6 cloves)
- 1 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
- 1 tsp granulated sugar (optional)
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 3 Tbsp Gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
- 2 Daikon radishes, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 4 medium scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Cut cabbage lengthwise and into small pieces
- Salt the cabbage with kosher salt and massage into the cabbage until it softens. Cover with distilled water and put a plate / jar on top to weigh it down. Let sit for 1-2 hours.
- Rinse and drain the cabbage under cold water 3x, and let drain in colander for 15-20 min.
- Make the spice paste by combining garlic, ginger, sugar, fish sauce, and desired Gochugaru (1 Tbsp for mild, up to 5 Tbsp for spicy).
- Add the scallions, radish, cabbage to the paste and mix thoroughly with your hands. Use gloves to protect your hands if desired.
- Pack the kimchi into 1-2 mason jars. Press down until the liquid rises above the vegetables.
- Let ferment for 1-5 days, checking daily and pushing down with a spoon. Once it’s fermented to your liking, refrigerate and eat right away, or wait 1-2 weeks for optimal flavor.
Notes: Be sure to use distilled water and iodine free salt as chlorinated water and iodine can inhibit fermentation! Your kimchi can be refrigerated for several months, just use a clean utensil when portioning out of the jar.