Following in the vein of preserving foods, pickling, fermenting, etc - we decided to try Kimchi, a korean pickled cabbage and radish dish. There are a lot of different variations to this, but the recipe we used sounds like it's pretty traditional, basic kimchi. We made a half batch, based this on this recipe from epicurious, with a few modifications. This was really simple, only has to ferment for a few days before eating (as opposed to 2-3 weeks for sauerkraut), and tastes great. The only problem is that based on that recipe (or maybe the chili peppers we used), it almost makes my face explode, and I'm pretty spice tolerant. I would use 1/2 to 3/4 the ground chilies this says to use, unless you really like your eyes to water while eating - or experiment with different types of chilies to find the one you like best.
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp sea salt (I didn't actually carefully measure the salt)
- 1 head napa cabbage
- 1/2 bulb of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
- 1 inch piece of ginger root, peeled.
- 1/8 cup fish sauce
- 2 daikon radishes, one grated, one chopped.
- 1/2 bunch green onions, cut in 1 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup ground dried red chilis
- Handful of bean sprouts
- Separate cabbage leaves, and rub salt thoroughly on each leaf, then set in a bowl or dish for soaking.
- Fill the dish with water so the cabbage is covered, and let soak for 3-4 hours at room temperature.
- Using a mortar and pestle, or a food processor, mash the garlic, ginger and fish sauce so you have a kind of liquidy paste.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine radish, green onion, bean sprouts, garlic mixture, chili powder, and 1 tbsp salt.
- Mix together well using a fork or spoon. If you use your hands, wear gloves to avoid chili burns.
- Remove the cabbage from the water and rinse thoroughly in a colander, squeezing extra water out of the leaves.
- Chop the cabbage leaves into large-ish pieces.
- Mix the cabbage leaves in with the spice mixture very thoroughly, making sure the leaves get well-coated, and then divide up between jars, pressing the contents firmly to the bottom of the jar.
- Let sit at room temperature for about 3 days before eating.