Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Yesterday, after the roads thawed enough to get out, I picked up the makings for kimchi.

The process was much easier and quicker than I thought it would be, somehow. Especially with the food processor mincing the garlic and ginger, shredding the carrots and daikon! All I had to do was shred the Napa cabbage, chop up the green onions. Easy peasy.

I've purchased kimchi made at a local Asian market, but didn't like it. I think what I didn't like was the red pepper paste that they traditionally slather on the layers of cabbage leaves, and I didn't like the big chunks of stem. And maybe some other unknown ingredients. But when I saw this recipe of Sally Fallon's, it sounded like something I'd like.

After adding salt and a little commercial sauerkraut juice to introduce some good lactobacillus, I massaged the veggies in the bowl with my hands until they softened and began to release their juices.

Then, into the crock, where a little pressing (as opposed to hard pounding) released more juices and packed them down.

I like the shredded cabbage, as opposed to layers. And of course, I love fresh garlic and ginger. What's not to like?

 I've learned a bit since making the kraut. Rather than just putting the weights on top of the veggies, I used a whole leaf to cover it all. This will help keep the veggies submerged, away from contact with air, rather than floating up around the weights.

With this, I've learned, the crock needs no other cover, just a cloth to keep out insects and dust.

Once the weights are added, the veggies sink and the juices begin to rise above them. More should come out and probably cover the weights as well, but if not, I have some good unchlorinated spring water to add.

Now, to wait.

There are also a few dried Thai hot chiles in there. I have a bunch of these things, whole, and they are killer hot. So I opened up a few, discarded the seeds, and crumbled up the pods. I like heat, but don't want to make this into something too hot to enjoy.

That's my day, but it's early yet. Plan on a good long walk after lunch, then on to making a batch of yogurt this afternoon.  The fermentation station is alive and well.

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