Kimchi is the Asian equivalent of sauerkraut but has way more flavour, its spicy and delicious, flavoured with ginger, garlic and chilli pepper flakes but not for the faint hearted!!
Traditional kimchi involves an additional brining step which makes it a much longer process so I prefer this simpler but equally good method. You need to use Napa or Chinese cabbage, not the hard, white variety, which is used for sauerkraut.
A lot of traditional kimchi contains fish sauce and or shrimp, so my version uses seaweed flakes and tamari instead.
This is also simpler in that its just chop, grate and mix everything in a bowl, no need to make a paste with the chilli powder, ginger and garlic then massage it into the pre brined cabbage.
I am all for simplifying recipes, so long as they still taste great and have the same level of nutrition!
You can adjust the amount of chilli if you prefer less spicy food!
You can use either traditional Korean Gochugaru red chilli pepper powder or just standard hot chilli flakes. You can add a tablespoon paprika to give the authentic red colour, if you are just using chilli flakes.
The amount of chilli you add is entirely up to you, I would suggest anywhere between 1 to 5 tablespoons. The Korean chilli powder will list its spice level, which is very handy! Mine is medium hot so I add 2 tablespoons.
Try it before you pack the mix into your jars, and adjust spice level to your preference.
Bear in mind it won't become less spicy as it ferments so I would always err on the safe side and add less rather than more, but I am a chilli wimp!
Kimchi, like most fermented foods is fairly addictive, it wakes up your taste buds, with its spicy, zingy, salty, sour flavours, so its a good thing its a fast ferment! If you eat it all then you only have to wait 3 to 5 days for your next batch to ferment.
Napa cabbage can be found in Asian supermarkets, along with daikon/mooli/white radish, although Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsburys usually stock it.
Kimchi is delicious on a wrap, sandwich, baked potato, with steamed or fried rice and greens, blended into dips, with salads, or just on its own!
It livens up any plate of food!
So what are you waiting for, go and buy a Napa cabbage and some chilli flakes and make some kimchi!
Asparagus is one of my absolute favourite summer ferments! I decided to try it last year and I was delighted by how fabulous it tasted.
Still lovely and crisp with lemony hints and a perfect wee sour tang after 10 days fermenting in a 2 % salt brine.
I added lemon slices, lemon thyme, a couple of cloves of crushed garlic and a couple of bay leaves, which contain tannins and stop your ferments going soggy!
Fermenting veggies is the best way of preserving them and extending the season so you can enjoy them at a later date. Especially with veggies like asparagus which have a short season!
So all you need to do is find a glass jar, preferably a clip top one, make up a salt brine, pack the asparagus in tightly with the herbs and make sure all the asparagus is submerged in the brine while it is fermenting!
I have been eating my asparagus straight out of the jar, in salads, in risotto, on open sandwiches, canapes and stirred through pasta.
Don't cook your lovely asparagus or you will destroy all the probiotic bacteria, just add it to warm foods or eat it as it is!
The brine will turn cloudy as the fermentation proceeds and you will see some bubbling so put a bowl underneath the jar to catch any escaping brine.
Try the asparagus after 7 to 10 days and when you are happy with the flavour, then transfer it to the fridge where it will keep for a few months, but will become softer the longer you store it.
It will taste a bit sour, and lemony and should be lovely and crisp, not raw tasting!
Its rhubarb season, and I love to enjoy seasonal food when it's at it's best and rhubarb is appearing in the shops now!
I grow my own but it's a bit slower so I bought some from Aldi a few weeks ago and made this rather delicious rhubarb, fig, ginger & goji berry fermented relish!
I used around 400g of rhubarb thinly sliced, about 60g of dried figs, then added 1.5%weight in Himalayan salt which was around 6g, massaged it a bit until I had some brine then added around a tablespoon of zested ginger & a few tablespoons goji berries to add some colour, then gave it a good mix.
I packed it all into a 500ml glass clip top jar, topped it with a wee ziplock bag filled with 1.5% brine, then closed the lid and left it to ferment at room temperature for around 10 days!
I meant to try it after 7 days but I forgot about it! I was pleasantly surprised when I remembered about it and tried it!
The figs imparted a lovely sweetness, contrasting with the tartness of the rhubarb, the zinginess of the ginger and the goji berries give a lovely pop of colour & texture, with a hint of saltiness & sour tang from the fermentation!
All in all a wee experiment which turned out rather well!!
This is a great way of using up home grown rhubarb! I am actually not a fan of rhubarb desserts since you have to add so much sugar to balance the sourness!
Fermenting it with some salt, and dried fruit like figs adds probiotics and fibre which is prebiotic, so this is a very healthy way to eat rhubarb!
🍃 Health educator🍃