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Natural Awakenings, Broward County, Florida

‘Clean the Garden’ Kimchi

Jul 30, 2021 ● By Laurie Neverman
Homemade kimchi with chopsticks

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This easy kimchi recipe turns common garden veggies into a spicy probiotic ferment that’s loaded with good bacteria and health benefits.

Yield: 32 servings 

4 Tbsp sea salt and 4 cups water
1 lb Chinese cabbage (napa or bok choy preferred, but other cabbage will do)
1 daikon radish or a few red radishes
1 to 2 carrots
1 to 2 (minimum) onions (or shallots or leeks) 
3 to 4 (minimum) cloves garlic 
3 to 4 hot red chilies to taste (seeds removed, dried is fine, nothing with preservatives) 
2 to 3 Tbsp (minimum) fresh grated ginger root

Prepare brine in a nonreactive container such as a glass bowl or large measuring cup. Mix water and salt, and stir thoroughly to dissolve salt.

Cut up cabbage, radishes and carrots. (Add in other vegetables as an option.) Mix vegetables together and move them into fermentation vessel. Cover vegetables with brine.

Use a fermentation weight or plate with a heavy object to weigh the vegetables down and keep them below the brine. (Mix more brine if needed to make sure vegetables are completely submerged.) Put a cloth over the fermentation vessel and wait for vegetables to soften (a few hours or overnight).

Drain the brine from the vegetables, reserving it. Give the vegetables a taste. They should be salty, but not too salty. Sprinkle on additional salt, if needed, and mix; rinse if too salty.

Mix the onion, garlic, chilies and ginger into the drained vegetables and blend well. Pack the vegetable mix into the fermentation vessel. Use the fermentation weight or plate to press it down until the brine covers the kimchi-in-progress. Add a little brine back, if needed, to make sure the vegetables are completely covered.

Cover the fermentation vessel with a cloth and leave it on the counter for about a week. Taste test to check the fermentation. When happy with the flavor, the kimchi is done. Store in the refrigerator in a glass container to stop the fermentation.


Recipe by Laurie Neverman


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