Last year, I tried kimchi for the first time. I’ve heard it is an acquired taste, but for me it was love at first bite. I am now completely addicted, I could eat a whole jar in one sitting if I had just a little less will power. Fortunately, this stuff is incredibly healthy…so I feel okay enthusiastically gobbling it up as I would a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Unlike Half Baked, kimchi goes through a fermentation process that leads to the production of lactobacillus. This beneficial bacteria aids in digestion and produces vitamins. Many people try to obtain this bacteria through yogurt or probiotics, but fermented foods and drinks are the most potent source. In the beginning, I bought Kimchi from the store, I never thought of making it myself. But then I checked out the ingredients and realized I could make it for a quarter of the price.The process is incredibly easy and tastes even better than the store bought version. Here’s how to do it, give it a try and tell me what you think!
Napa Cabbage Kimchi
1 (2 pound) napa cabbage
Small handful of salt (Himalayan or Celtic sea salt)
1 tablespoon grated garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
1-5 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
Medium daikon thinly sliced
Small handful of scallions chopped
1. Cut cabbage lengthwise into quarters and then chop into 1 inch wide pieces.
2. Place cabbage and salt into a bowl and massage the cabbage until it starts to become soft. At this point cover with water and let sit for 2 hours.
3. Rinse the cabbage in cold water and drain.
4. Make the paste. Combine garlic, ginger, sugar, 3 tablespoons of water and 1-5 tablespoons of the red pepper flakes.
5. Squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and return to a bowl with the other veggies.
6. Mix the paste thoroughly into the cabbage and other veggies.
7. Now it’s time to pack the kimchi. You’ll need a glass jar for this step. Begin filling the jar and pressing the kimchi down until it’s brine covers the top of the veggies. Make sure to leave an inch of room at the top of the jar.
8. Let the kimchi ferment for 1-5 days. Open each day and press to make sure the brine continues to cover the veggies.
9. Transfer the kimchi to the fridge and enjoy.