Thursday, October 9, 2014

Recipe: Kim Chee

1 head napa cabbage, shredded
2 bunches red radishes or 1 large daikon radish, diced
4 carrots, diced
1 red onion or a bunch of spring onions with greens, diced
1 head garlic, peeled and smashed
1 small hand fresh garlic, peeled and diced small
3-6 fresh or dried red chilies, diced small
2 T red boat fish sauce
4 T sea salt or pickling salt

Combine ingredients.  Pound.  I like to use a meat mallet straight up and down, but you can use whatever works (there is actually a cabbage tamper made for this job).  You are trying to allow the salt to help the cabbage release its juices.

Let sit with a clean dish rag over the bowl for 1-3 hours.  Pound again.

Move into a fermenting crock or wide mouth mason jars.  This recipe fits a one gallon crock or two quart sized mason jars.  Fit a plate over the veggies in the crock, or a glass jar weight in the mason jars, then weigh it down with crock weights (or homemade crock rocks) in the crock, or a ziploc bag filled with brine (1T salt to 2 c water, dissolved) in the mason jar.  You need a weight because the veggies need to stay completely submerged in the liquid.  The plate then weight keeps them all tucked in.  You use a brine bag in the mason jar because it is hard to find a weight that fits (though you could find a rock, I'm sure, and clean it) and the bag could break so you would want brine, not water, to enter your fermenting food, if this were the case.

Move to an out-of-the-way spot in the kitchen (the cupboard or counter is fine) and cover with a clean cloth.  You can check it every so often (daily or less) to make sure the veggies are still submerged.  Taste it after a week to two weeks and move it into the refrigerator when the taste is satisfactory.  When moving it, change it into two mason jars with closed lids.

Will keep in the fridge for a year.

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