I don’t know how about you but I really love pickled veggies. It’s a great accompaniment or – for those as crazy as me – a sour salad you can eat on its own. 😉 There are many variations of fermented vegetables but the one I’m going to share with you is my absolute favorite. Let’s roll up our sleeves and prepare this amazing kimchi recipe.
Kim’s Korean Kimchi Recipe
As you can deduce from the name, I got this recipe from Kim – a dear friend of mine whom I met in India. When we didn’t talk about Buddhism, we discussed food a lot. As a Korean, he talked about flavor pairings I’d never thought about which I found very inspiring. I’ll be sure to share with you in the future what I’ve learned from him.
What I really love about this kimchi (apart from its delicious sweet, sour & spicy taste, of course) is that it’s extremely easy to make! As I said, there are countless ways of preparing kimchi but the main idea is to always ferment cabbage as the main ingredient (choose your favorite kind) with other veggies, meat or fish and spice. You can eat the kimchi as soon as you’re done preparing it but the longer you let it ferment, the tastier and healthier it’ll get! So all you need is to find the strength to resist eating it before all those Vitamins, good enzymes, and probiotics are created during the fermentation process.
As a rule of thumb, leave your kimchi ferment in covered jars at room temperature for the first two days. You can use any kind of a receptacle, even plastic food boxes. The trick is to submerge all the veggies in its juice otherwise they might go bad.
How do you know your kimchi has started fermenting? If you press down the vegetables and you can see bubbles coming from the juice, the fermentation process has started. Also, it’ll start having a nice sour smell. When that happens, place the kimchi in the fridge. Try waiting a few more days before you serve it. But to be perfectly honest with you, I can never wait that long and usually start eating the kimchi on the second day.
European cousin – Sauerkraut
I am sure that you know sauerkraut which is very popular in Germany. It is also a traditional meal in former eastern bloc countries where I originally come from. Even though I love sauerkraut, Kim’s kimchi is an amazing twist to our tradition – using sesame seeds, sugar and chili powder turns your batch of veggies into a truly wonderful side dish!
I usually make kimchi with honey rather than sugar and I scrimp on chili powder as well. But the amount that you’ll decide to use is solely up to you. If you want to spice up your kimchi, feel free to add more chili powder. Same goes for sugar or honey.
Since you don’t need any special tools or kitchen equipment to be able to enjoy this amazing food, get your groceries, a big bucket, a sharp knife, jars, and let’s make some kimchi!
Do you make pickled vegetables at home? What is your favorite recipe?