Sunday, 16 September 2018

Easy Kim Chi


Now that it is Spring we spend hours in the garden every weekend.  Planting seeds and seedlings, improving the quality of the soil and yesterday Hubby put another layer of wooden planks on top of the existing ones to build up the asparagus bed an extra 20cm high.  Topping up the just peeking through asparagus spears with chicken manure and compost before layering with moisture saving straw.   We also have red and white cabbages planted but these plants are only infants at this stage.  We are also growing tomatoes, beans, bok choy, leeks, spring onions, chillies, lettuce, corn, butter squash, strawberries, spinach, rocket. capsicum, eggplant and many herbs.





Imagine my delight when I saw beautifully formed, huge womboks for sale at our local vegetable shop.  Kimchi immediately comes to mind for it's delightful flavour and fermented goodness.  I cannot fully share my excitement at the prospect of making a batch of kimchi.  My children (young adults) all love kimchi as well so it is a joy that can be spread through the family.



I have created a simplified version over the years, one that is full of flavour with enough moisture but with some texture and a beautiful aroma.   Inspiration comes from this Traditional Kimchi recipe but I like the simple flavours of my own version, without adding any shrimp or squid to the mixture.  I find the process of making kimchi enjoyable and relaxing.


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Kimchi (Tongbaechu)


1 wombok cabbage, approx 2kg
3/4 cup natural fine sea salt
1 bunch radishes (about 8)
2 carrots, peeled
10 spring onions (green shallots)
12 cloves garlic
1.5cm piece of ginger
1 onion
1/2 cup fish sauce
1 1/4 cups gochujang chilli paste  (Korean red chilli paste)
1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes
Porridge:   1 cup water
                  1 tablespoon rice flour
                  1 tablespoon raw sugar

Firstly slice the cabbage lengthwise into 4 quarters.  Remove and discard the hard core.
Then slice each quarter in half again before slicing into roughly 2.5cm pieces.  Place in a colander and rinse well with water.
Then place into a large bowl, sprinkling each layer with a little of the 3/4 cup salt.  Scrunch it all with your fingers and leave to rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours, 4 hours is better.  While it is resting, occasionally give it a stir to distribute the salt evenly.
After it has rested pour it all back into the colander and rinse well with fresh water to remove the salt.
For the porridge mix 1 cup water with 1 tablespoon rice flour (glutinous ground rice) in a small saucepan and stir whilst bringing to a simmer for 5 minutes.  It will thicken during this time.  Then mix in 1 tablespoon raw sugar until dissolved.  Take off heat and place into a large bowl.  Let cool.
Blend the garlic, ginger and onion until finely minced, in a blender or mortar and pestle.  Add to the cooled porridge with the fish sauce, gochujang and dried chilli flakes.  Add the cabbage and mix well.
Chop the carrots, radishes and spring onions roughly (I do this in blender for about 20 seconds) and also add to the cabbage mixture.  Mix it all together and pour into fermenting vessels or in jars with the lid slightly ajar and allow to ferment for up to one week at room temperature before moving into the refrigerator.

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Do you also enjoy the process of making dishes like kimchi or sauerkraut?
Buon appetito, enjoy Merryn xx



15 comments:

  1. It has been years since I last made some kimchi. Yours looks authentic and delicious!

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    1. Thanks Angie, at least you know the kimchi will last for many months.

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  2. Love sauerkraut! Will have to give Kimchi a go too.

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    1. You and your family will love it Nicole 8)

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  3. I have always wanted to make kimchi. Thanks for the inspiration!!

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    1. It is definitely worth doing, a fun process that is very enjoyable.

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  4. Kim chi is on my list of foods to make! I'm not sure I can find that variety of cabbage, but I'll be on the lookout :)

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    1. Liz I have made it before with savoy cabbage and it was perfectly acceptable. I think the wombok (napa) cabbage is a lighter cabbage but definitely try it with whatever cabbage you are able to get and you will be pleasantly surprised with the result.

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  5. this sounds amazing merryn. i am about to make my own sauerkraut for the first time when i get hold of a fermenting kit. we love sauerkraut in this house.:) cheers sherry

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    1. Enjoy your sauerkraut. I bought these fermenting jar kits online, they are a Baccarat set complete with ceramic weights. One jar with a fermenting lid and the other with a clip lock to store the fermented food in the fridge whilst you go on to ferment your next project.

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  6. I almost never make kimchi -- a shame because I really do like it. Maybe because some recipes are a bit complicated? They're not, but that's always my excuse! No excuse not to make this, though -- easy and fast (well, relatively fast -- we ARE talking kimchi!). Good stuff -- thanks.

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    1. Thanks John I like easy - and kimchi without all of the seafood trimmings is so much quicker and less complicated than with squid or prawns. The fish sauce adds enough flavour 8)

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  7. I love home made kimchi because you can make it as mild or strong as you want! I have an easy kim chi recipe that I swear by too. Easy is always good ;)

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  8. It is great to hear how many people enjoy home made kim chi and have tweaked it to their preferences.

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