I FRICKEN LOVE KIMCHEE.….I’m not sure what I love about it most, making it or eating it. There is something about the process of making it that has culture, devotion and love wrapped in the creation of this amazing fermented food. It is said that whatever you send into the making of it will be in the end result… So like this morning, I was working LOVE into this latest batch, and to drive the point home, I labeled it on the glass to “feed” the ferment. This is so easy and seems like it would be much more complicated but it is so simple, and could easily be made in a small urban kitchen. You can vary the veggies, change the seasonings or could go straight up traditional. Below ismy take on the best fricken KimChee. I used local cabbage, carrots, onions, and garlic- but use what you have available to you!
1 head Nappa Cabbage
water to cover the leaves
3T pink salt
Pull the leaves off whole from the base of the cabbage and wash well, trimming off any parts you wouldn’t want to consume (ends, dark spots).
In a LARGE non-reactive bowl like glass or true stainless steel (or plastic but I’m not a fan), line the leaves in and with each layer, sprinkle salt over them, then continue to layer the leaves, salting them, layering new leaves etc. Gently pour enough water over the top of the salted leaves then place a large plate (or two) to keep the leaves immersed. Leave this overnight. When ready to use them, drain the water off and rip the leaves into desired size
Ellen’s AWESOME KimChee
1 head prepared salted Nappa Cabbage leaves- torn up into small pieces
1/2 of one onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1/2 of one red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 carrot, shredded
2″ piece of fresh ginger, grated
1t dried chili pepper ( more or less to suit your spice)
1-2T Pink salt ( I believe in going heavier in the salt, so taste your mix along the way to add more if necessary.
2t smoked chipotle powder
1T raw agave
In a large bowl, toss all of the ingredients together and massage the veggies and spices together for a good 5-6 minutes to break down the veggies- the juices will start to be released- you want this! This is where you massage into the mix whatever you want or desire, LOVE, PEACE,HAPPINESS, POWER or all of them!! Mind your thoughts!!! No one gonna want to eat your bad mood- including you!!!
Have a clean bell jar or lock lid glass container ready to go, quart size. Start by putting some of the mix into the jar and pack it down firmly each time you add more with the top of your fingers. Add all of the remaining liquid the mix has created, this is the brine (filled with probitiotics and if you are lucky to have more, it is a great addition to savory green juices!!)
Leave about an inch or 2 at the top of the jar/container and then close it up tightly. This is where I literally write on the jar what is “cooking”. You leave this gorgeous concoction on the counter at room temperature for 2-3 days (less if it’s super warm out).
After about 2-3 days it’s ready to eat! Put the mix into the fridge to slow down the ongoing fermentation- which will continue in the fridge, making it more sour and even more flavorful. The longer you let it ferment, the more beneficial bacteria there will be.
Because your KimChee is living, always use a clean utensil when dipping into it!