this type of kimchi is normally prepared in a ceramic crock and then buried underground for a minimum of 3 months to ferment. sounds crazy but if you have ever had "proper", buried-in-a-crock kimchi - oh man there is nothing like it! and my friend Harry can attest to the fact that if you spill it - there is no smell like it on earth! but man is it deelish!
anyway - when my korean teacher left korea and came to canada with her husband and children - she quickly figured out that she needed to make kimchi regularly for her family as there was no where to buy it (that has since changed! i am glad to say that ottawa has several korean stores and markets and we were able to get really good kimchi all of the years that we lived in ottawa). anyway, i digress. here is the kimchi recipe that my korean teacher taught me. this stuff is awesome!
first off - here's your ingredients: 2 nappa cabbages, several small daikon radishes (or one big one), coarse sea salt (do not use table salt!), korean red pepper flakes, a quarter cup of thai fish sauce (i use 2 of my home-made concentrated fish ice cubes), a whole clove of garlic and a big knob of ginger.
cut the bottoms off of your nappa cabbage and then peel each leaf. trim any bad spots. fill a big pot, crock, or as i use a cleaned and washed cooler. add a cup of coarse sea salt and about a gallon of water. stir the water until the salt has dissolved. place all of your trimmed leaves in the water. use something to make sure that your leaves stay submerged in the salt brine - i use bottles filled with water.
put your container in a cool, dark place for about 3 hours.
next up - grate your daikon radish. this kimchi i made a few days ago has some real spicy kick to it. it's because i used daikons fresh from the garden!
crush all of your cloves of garlic, and your ginger, using a garlic press into a big bowl.
add the grated daikon radish, cup of red pepper flakes and fish sauce.
rinse all of your cabbage leaves and green onion. rinse them 2 or three times. then wrap them in paper towel and a cotton towel - you want the cabbage leaves to be incredibly dry.
make sure to wear rubber gloves as the red pepper flakes burn. trust me. and don't wipe your eyes or nose. trust me.
take each piece of cabbage and rub it with the sauce. rub it into all of the grooves of the cabbage both front and back. you will feel the cabbage leaf start to wilt. that's good. when the leaf is covered both front and back, fold it up and put it in your glass jar.
keep adding leaves and while doing so, press down as hard as you can so that the leaves start releasing their liquid. you will think that the jar is full and then realize that it is only half-full. you can fit a lot of cabbage leaves folded up like this in a jar.
leave about a quarter inch of headspace at the top of the jar. keep pressing down on the cabbage as it will continue to shrink down. when you are pretty sure that your jar is full - cap it and put it somewhere cool and dark. i put ours under the bed.
every few hours, shake the jars. really shake them. you will notice that a liquid has now formed and that the cabbage has shrunk down. that's the fermentation part and that is a good thing. if you see bubbles - that's good too. you can let your jar ferment up to a week but i never last past 3 days. once you have decided to end your fermentation phase, put your jar(s) in the fridge. enjoy with every meal. this recipe isn't the crock recipe - if using a crock and the proper crock recipe - the kimchi will keep for a year or longer. this kimchi recipe will keep for about a month in the fridge.
give it a try. it certainly is an acquired taste - but if you acquire a taste for it - you'll want it all the time. i love kimchi!
here's breakfast this morning - zucchini/carrot fritters with sour cream and you guessed it - kimchi! it was awesome!
we walk to the river everyday. it's good exercise and also a balm to our souls!
our dear friend W is always asking for updates on Frankie Blue Eyes, Mankly, Spanky Patoonch. here he is on his box on a shelf. all four legs straight up in the air. he's a bit of a nutjob our little Mank!
i spent some time this morning getting veggies cut up for shish-kebabs for tonight's supper. i marinate the veggies in a bunch of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, cayenne, cumin, garlic and onion salt. jambaloney painted boards and windows to continue working on the greenhouse.
this saturday night is our big summer dance at our community centre. i can't wait - it's going to be so much fun! when jambaloney went back to ottawa last month, he and his mom bought me a beautiful dress and i can't wait to wear it! i can't wait to see all of our friends! the only drawback is that our brother G and sister C won't be there! we'll miss them but will see them at the end of the month.
ok - that's enough blathering for now eh? we're off to the river. have a fantastic day!