Kimchi - The Prettiest Ferment
Kimchi is one of my favourite things to ferment. The combination of vegetables and seasonings change with the season. It's always a little bit different and always delicious.
I don't make my kimchi based on seasons but more on how I'm feeling and what's in my fridge. Sometimes I don't even follow a traditional recipe. I'm not a kimchi purist by any means, but unless you're storing it underground in jars who really is? The main thing is that it's fermented and has flavour!
Customize Your Kimchi
Kimchi is a korean side dish that is lacto-fermented. Made from nappa cabbage, daikon, carrots, garlic, ginger, salt and Korean red pepper flakes. These are the basic ingredients used, but each recipe varies slightly. In my opinion, kimchi isn't complete without asian pear. You can add a little sweetness, or not, and customize the level of spice. When cutting up the vegetables you can also play with the size. Sometimes I leave the carrots in round discs and roughly cut the cabbage for a chunkier kimchi. On the other hand a fine julienne makes for a spreadable kimchi. You can add what you like, leave out what you don't like, and even make vegetarian friendly batches. Below are two batches of kimchi I recently made. The one on the right follows a traditional recipe and the one on the left has some additions like sesame seed and honey for wider array of flavours. And that's what I like about kimchi. It's forgiving, flexible and oh so tasty.
Kimchi Close To Home
Korean vegetables like baechu (napa cabbage) and daikon (asian radish) aren't necessarily vegetables that are only imported and available at the asian super market. Both grow in western climates and can be found at most farmer's markets or you can even grow them in your own garden. Wherever you get your veggies from, consider picking up some baechu to make your own batch of kimchi!
Spice & love,