Say YES to Kimchi!

Kimchi...Kimchi... It wasn't until I had my first class at Matthew Kenney Culinary that I learned how to make Kimchi and, even better than that, actually enjoyed it! I've always stayed away from Kimchi because of its strong taste but, after learning this recipe, I'm honestly head over heels over it. To such an extent, I MUST have it every morning. :) In short, Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean dish made from Cabbage and more veggies and is REALLY good for your health, specially your digestive system. Its health benefits include: improved cardiovascular health and digestive system, healing effects against cancer, diabetes, obesity, atopic dermatitis and gastric ulcers. And it's probiotics (Kimchi is rich in them!) help combat aging, maintain healthy levels of cholesterol and strengthen the immune system.

Click here to read the post about my experience at MKC. 

Ingredients:

-napa cabbage – 1⁄2 large head (or 1 small) 1 carrot, julienned
-1⁄4 cup red cabbage
-1 teaspoon salt

SEASONING PASTE

1⁄4 bell pepper, chopped or julienned
1 tablespoons of fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon of fresh green onions, minced
1
1⁄2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (more if you like spicy, less if you don't) 2 teaspoons agave

1 teaspoon salt

Separate and wash cabbage leaves thoroughly. Tear or slice into small pieces. Gently massage 1 teaspoon salt onto cabbage leaves and let sit. Water will start to release from the cabbage to make the brine.

Create a seasoning paste with the bell pepper, green onion, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, agave, and salt, using a food processor. Combine cabbage leaves with the seasoning paste in a large bowl. Wearing gloves, use your hands to rub seasoning evenly into all cabbage leaves. Massage vigorously. The salt causes the cabbage leaves to release moisture. This creates the brine.

Transfer seasoned cabbage leaves into a glass container (mason jar, etc.) and use firm pressure with your hands to push down on cabbage leaves as they stack up inside the bottle. Transfer any liquid that accumulated during the mixing process into the bottle as well - it will become kimchi brine. Some liquid will also come out of the cabbage leaves as you press them into the container. The cabbage should be completely covered by the brine.

Leave about 2 inches of room at the top of the jar before capping it tightly with a lid. Allow kimchi to sit at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Store outside of the refrigerator, on shelf, out of sunlight to ferment. Kimchi is an example of Anaerobic Fermentation (fermentation in the absence of air), which is why it is important to cover cabbage with the brine. This promotes the presence of lactobacillus bacterial growth. Cold temperatures will stall the fermentation process and inhibit the growth of good bacteria.

You may need to “burp” your kimchi after 24 hours to release the pressure that will build up from gases that are released during fermentation.

After 2-3 days, your kimchi is ready to eat.

Refrigerate remaining kimchi and take out portions needed for recipes. Kimchi can be stored in brine, but is best drained before use. The refrigerated kimchi will continue to ferment slowly in the refrigerator over time, becoming more sour and flavorful with each passing day.

Always use clean, sterilized utensils when getting into your kimchi jar. 

And enjoy!!! Put it on your toast, eat it with a spoon or make Kimchi Dumplings. I like it in every way possible! :p

  Kimchi Dumplings

 

Kimchi Dumplings