Being a vegan yogini, Ayurvedic practitioner, and Eco-Village mum, I’m quite mindful of what goes into and through our family’s mouths. Plus having three little ones and spending a lot of time on a boat with a tiny galley means that all recipes have to tick the quick, simple, and nutritious qualities, too. This kimchi recipe delivers all of that.
Enjoy Kimchi in Any Season
Whilst most were waiting for an autumn treat, we here down under are so ready to embrace these first days of spring. Yes, around Sydney it does get a bit fresh in winter (down to 10C!). Nevertheless, most houses are built as if we were up in the tropics of Northern Queensland. Read, zero insulation and windows which remind me more of a glorified tent than a house to protect us the winter chills. So most of us can’t wait to have the scorching Australian summer sun back.
With that background, it was impossible to write a seasonal recipe that would please everyone. I thus decided to tap into my passion for fermentation which is universally and all-seasonally great for your gut health and thus also for the rest of you. Benefits include a stronger immune system, more balanced hormones, clarity of mind, better sleep, good digestion, lower cholesterol levels, better vision, slowing down of the aging process, preventing stomach cancer, producing radiant skin and hair, easier absorption of emotions, and more.
Love Country Nights
If you wonder how I got my kids into this kind of Korean Sauerkraut version as well as other foods considered by most as rather unusual, then our weekly ‘country nights’ are the answer.
Each week the kids pick one country from which I then make a recipe. My seven-year-old prepares a little presentation around the main facts on that country which we get to listen to during dinner. This is often followed by a short video with more insights into our chosen country and possibly some other activities like learning a few words in the language, drawing calligraphy, coloring in the country flag or learning a traditional dance from a YouTube video. If we have friends from that country we might invite them to that dinner to tell us more or we may Skype them in.
How to Make Kimchi
Let’s roll our sleeves up and begin (or continue) the exciting and age-old fermentation journey. Please be creative and work with what you have got. Apart from the cabbage and salt, everything is optional and can be adjusted to your liking.
• 1 kg of cabbage roughly chopped
• 3 carrots chopped into pieces of similar size and into the width of your cabbage ones
• 3 tsp dulse (or other seaweed to add extra iron)
• 5 radishes if you have
• 4 tablespoons of salt salt
• ½ teaspoon probiotics
• Optional 1 chili if you like it spicy
Throw all ingredients into a bowl and knead the h… out of it, around half an hour or till your fingers hurt. When you have massaged enough juice out to cover your vegetable mix then you are ready to transfer it into a glass container. Find a smaller glass container which neatly just fits over your bigger one.
Fill the smaller glass with water so when you set it on your kimchi-in-making it allows for all the vegetables to be covered in brine. If it still doesn’t, cheat by adding a tiny bit of water. Any vegetable that is not covered in a liquid will likely develop mold.
Now I like to set the whole thing in an oven pan filled with water so that the ants can’t climb in and cover it all with a kitchen towel so that the flies can’t get in either. After a couple of days, start tasting it.
When it has reached your ‘sour’ level that you like, take out the small glass container (which you would have done anyway to taste) and place the lid on your bigger kimchi container. Put it in the fridge. Enjoy with almost any meal – and comment below on how it went for you or any variations that worked out particularly well.
How long the whole fermentation process takes depends a lot on the temperatures. In winter, in the mentioned non-insulated Australian houses with an average temperature of 10 to 15C, my relatively mild version takes up to a week. In summer, a few days are often enough.
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Note: While there are claims to the health benefits of probiotics which are found in many fermented foods, it’s important to keep in mind that there could be side effects such as brain fog or bloating.
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