On-Hand Kimchee

We love spicy, fermented kimchee, and it seems that there are endless varieties, all of which are proper, but maybe not traditional in the true kimchee tradition. I use what I have on hand, as we are a little bored with plain sauerkraut or cordito.

For this kimchee I used a large glass container which has a glass lid, just like the one I continuous brew kombucha in.

This is what I used, because it is what I had on hand or in the garden, but you can vary everything.

2 medium heads of dutch flathead cabbage, sliced as thin as you can.

I started out using 3 tablespoons of real salt, sprinkled in between layers, for the finished product to be salty, but not excessively so, but needed one more tablespoon towards the end.

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From time to time, press and pound down the cabbage, salt and vegetables and they will begin to release water and create the brine for fermentation.

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I had two bunches of broccoli rabe, from the farmers market

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and cut the florets and leaves into slices

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a total of 5 medium white onions, sliced very thin

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mixing, salting and pounding as you go

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For some reason the chipmunks have spared my swiss chard in the garden, so I sliced that very thin, including the ribs. My sweet neighbor was being attacked by her glorious garden and gave me lots of wonderful things, including beets, and I chopped up the beet greens and stems and added those.

One and a half heads of garlic, sliced or diced. I then added two heaping tablespoons each of turmeric and ginger, which goes in just about everything.

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and two big tablespoons of liquid fire, or you could slice or dice any hot peppers you choose.

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I also sliced some thin carrots.

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After 12 to 24 hours, periodically pounding and pressing down the vegetables, it will make a liquid brine enough that you can then put your kimchee in jars for further fermentation.

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Pack as much in as you can, pressing everything down so the vegetables are underneath the brine. Leave at room temperature for at least 7 to 10 days for lacto fermentation to take hold and then refrigerate.

Update: I had earlier said to leave in room temperature for 3 to 4 days, then refrigerate. I then remembered that I did not use kefir whey in this ferment, and when you are doing a salt only ferment, the good bacteria need a longer time at room temps to establish themselves. This post from Food Renegade explains all the mistakes of fermentation very well.

3 thoughts on “On-Hand Kimchee

  1. Pingback: Grassfood Recipe Page | grassfood.

  2. I have been looking for a good kimchee recipe using only vegetables and spices. Must give this a try, especially now that I have most of the ingredients in the garden ready to harvest.

    • I do hope it turns out, but at this stage it does taste very good. I decided to only use the ginger and turmeric, instead of other spices as well, so the flavor of the greens and vegetables will come through. I had turnip greens as well, but did not use those because the flavor would be overwhelming. Let me know if you come up with something better, I’m sure you will! 🙂

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