Cabbage, the vegetable that started it all.
Most of us have a kind of love hate relationship with it. I don’t really like it raw, but cooking it makes it very tasty.
So I had this large jar, and even now I can’t remember why I bought it, and when I got to talking with some of my classmates at my tae kwon do dojang, invariably the topic of food and kimchee came up. Then I remembered this big jar I had and thought that maybe I could make a toned down version of kimchee. Although I love kimchee it doesn’t always love me with that hot chili powder.
The biggest difference of course is the cultural details around the whole kimchee process as well as the heat, so my version has some nicely roasted jalapeños just to give it a bit of a kick and make it a little less hot. I also added carrots, which is what has given the cabbage in my photo a very pink colour. It looks kind of like pickled ginger, without the ginger (although maybe I’ll try adding more of that next time).
I started this about two weeks ago, and for my first attempt it isn’t too bad. I’ve had some now and haven’t died yet but next time I’m going to use less salt.
So my recipe and method was similar to the one from Mark’s Daily Apple.
I used a very large cabbage , 2 – 3 roasted and peeled jalapeños, 3 -4 cloves of garlic, carrots, a bit of ginger and chili pepper, then the 1 1/2 Tbsp of sea salt. I didn’t have to use any distilled water although you should have some around just in case.
I kept aside a few clean outer leaves of the cabbage before coarsely shredding the whole head and the carrots. Then like Mark’s method I used my hands and muscle power to breakdown the cabbage to make brine from the moisture in the cabbage. I had to work in batches to keep it under control until it was soft enough for me to be able to add everything else.
After I packed it into the jar, I used the leaves that I had set aside, on put on top of the cabbage. I had to put some ceramic cups under the lid to leverage the lid down into the top leaves which kept everything submerged. I placed the jar on a plate, just in case there were any spills, and put it in my pantry under the back stairs. I nearly forget it a few times (and wouldn’t that have been fun :0 ) So when I remembered I just checked to make sure the water level wasn’t dropping.
It said to refrigerate it to slow down the fermentation which I have done. So now I need to eat it as fast as I can, cause the hubby won’t eat it (but I might sneak some into the odd dish over the next couple of weeks.) And the scurvy part, well it’s been said that James Cook always took some sauerkraut on his sea voyages to prevent scurvy and now you can too, without the sea voyage part!
Well, kimchee of course:
Chinese cabbage, daikon radish or ed radishes, carrots, onions and/or leeks,ginger, seaweed, dried chili powder, hondashi japanese fish broth powder and a very different process.