Fermented foods have fallen into fashion over the last few years and there are many good healthy reasons why they have become so popular. However, setting health aside for just a minute, fermented foods just taste good, and add an inspired tangy taste to so many dishes including; roasted meats, cheeses, sandwiches and salads.
Many fermented foods go back for centuries and Kimchi is one of those condiments that has been in the Korean Culture probably forever. Kimchi is a fermented cabbage vegetable combination that has a little bit of spice and usually takes several days to prepare. I have created a quicker version, which only takes a few hours, but can be enjoyed over the course of several days.
The key to good Kimchi is to slice your cabbage thinly, so the salt releases water from the cabbage, wilting it slightly before the chilies, ginger and vinegar soak into the leaves. Most of the work is done in the bowl, while the Kimchi is resting and the results are mouth-watering.
I hope you will make this fermented food one of your new favorite things to serve alongside some of your favorite foods. After all, it is good for you too!
1 head Chinese cabbage, sliced thinly
1/4 cup sea salt
1 1/2 cups carrots, cut into strips (julienned)
1/2 red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
3 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoon oelek sambal, or chili sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1. Slice cabbage and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle salt over cabbage and toss to coat. Let cabbage rest for 1 1/2 hours.
2. Place cabbage in a colander and rinse to remove salt. Place cabbage back into bowl. Slice carrots, onions and bell pepper, set aside.
3. In a food processor, add garlic, ginger, fish sauce, chili paste, sugar and rice vinegar, puree until smooth.
4. Pour mixture over cabbage and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let cabbage rest in bowl on counter top for 4-6 hours. Serve with your favorite oven roasted or grilled meat, chicken or fish. Store remaining Kimchi in a sealed jar and place in refrigerator. Enjoy for up to 2 weeks!