In which I can make kimchi!

Three days ago I washed and chopped up a smallish chinese cabbage, stuffed it into an empty half-gallon kimchi container, added some ginger and a small cayenne pepper, and then poured over a brine solution (3.5T salt to 6 cups water).  I put a bag of water over the top to keep out oxygen and it sat in a corner of the kitchen.  It is now kimchi!  That was evidently not really enough ginger or pepper, but it makes a pleasant mild pickle, highly suitable for throwing into stirfries and such.  It will stay in the fridge and continue to ferment at a manageably slow pace.  Without the onion (the recipe I followed called for scallions), it totally lacks the unpleasant acridness that makes me unable to handle large quantities of standard kimchi.  I will be making this a lot.


4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Jennie said,

    Hi Sarah!
    Thanks for the comment on my blog, it’s nice to hear from someone who seems to know what a handfasting is. :-P
    Hey, here’s a question, I’ve been kicking around the thought of making kimchi, but I’m not real familiar with it. I wouldn’t know by sight or taste if it’s “done”. (or ruined, whichever the case may be) Any tips on how to tell?

  2. 2

    Melinda said,

    Wow, I had no idea how easy it was!! So cool!

    Hey, come check out the new blog when you get a chance & let me know what you think!

    Also, there’s a brand-new link for The Growing Challenge:

    I’ve altered the rules slightly, too, because -ahem- I wasn’t doing my part! So now, there is a weekly check-in, and a monthly write-up… easier for me, and this way everyone has to interact a bit in the comments, which I think will be a good thing.

    So, red rover, red rover, send Sarah right over! That is, when you’re taking a break from term papers. ; )

  3. 3

    Weeping Sore said,

    Wow, can it really be this easy? I hate the nasty canned mush of pinkish cabbage that comes in the restaurant. But yours sounds so fresh and crunchy, I’ve got to try this. I have a small glass jar that will do. I’ll put it in a dark sack.

  4. 4

    limesarah said,

    Jennie — Especially if it’s as hot there as it is here, you do want to check it every day or so. It’s done when it smells like kimchee (or in my case, more like sauerkraut or unseasoned pickles, since there weren’t any onions in it). At no point before it is done is it not edible, so you can just keep tasting it until it tastes right, and then stick it in the fridge when it’s done, where it will keep fermenting much more slowly. If it tastes actively unpleasant or weird, it’s either overdone or something got in that wasn’t supposed to. Just make sure to put a water-filled bag of some sort on it so that it covers the top of the liquid and cabbage completely, or it lets in mold or bacteria that are not lactobacteria. I made inadvertent beer-pickles that way last year :-b

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