Orange isn't the new black, fermented foods are and if you are yet to get your guts on board this gut loving craze you are missing out on a gut-ful of the good stuff... probiotics! Move over probiotic capsules fermenting your own foods at home and slow cooking your own bone broth has come back into fashion after being a trend our forefathers created yonks ago.
Don't get me wrong probiotics are great and if you are going to take them you should definitely get on board Bio Ceuticals they are the godfathers of probiotics. However, the amount of good bacteria you can get into your guts when fermenting your own veg at home is incredibly effective compared to probiotics and very versatile. In order to establish healthy gut flora within your intestines it is important to have an incredibly diverse range of probiotics so along with kimchi you need to try kefir, kombucha, coconut or greek yoghurt and sourdough.
I decided to create this Kimchi recipe after spending a small fortune on store bought kimchi and decided to make sure it was vegan, paleo, gluten free and dairy free you know all that jazz so that everyone could enjoy it with me. Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish that they eat every day with every meal. The kimchi flavour is very versatile as there are so many ways to make Kimchi with daikon radishes, cabbage and shrimp paste being the most popular of the ingredients. I am currently growing daikon radishes at home in my veggie patch so once I can harvest them I will create a traditional Kimchi recipe but for now here is my anti inflammatory, probiotic potent and vegan friendly Kimchi.
If you are yet to learn the importance of gut health I am currently writing a blog on this so make sure you subscribe or drop back in to learn more or come along to one of Shan Copper from My Food Religion and my Gut Health workshops!
I only just recently got my hands on this Mad Millie crock and it is life changing if you are in the field of fermenting or wanted to get your hands into massaging cabbage. I don't know if it is just me but I tend to do things and forget about them until my partner Tom reminds me so I need an appliance that I can do that with when I ferment. I don't know what it was but I seemed to just invite mould into my sauerkraut and kimchi and it would stay however ever since I got my hands on this crock we have this real good thing going... so I didn't get just one crock I got two so I can make both Kimchi and Sauerkraut alternating at both times, genius right... because I am never without potent probiotics.
- 1/2 green cabbage (keep the core!)
- 1/2 wombok
- 2 carrots
- 1 sweet potato (medium)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 knob ginger (3cm)
- 1/2 knob turmeric
- 2 tbsp Himalayan salt
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- leftover juices from a store bought kimchi or kraut... to get yours kick started (if you don't have this don't worry! Read below for details)
- fermeting jars or a crock enough to fit approx 1.5L of vegetables & brine.
optional: to dice up a couple of chillies or/and an onion to add in to your crock, however the kimchi does already have a bite to it!
note: choose all organic ingredients if you can especially for fermenting and growing probiotics!
- Roughly cut up your cabbage, wombok and onion, so it looks like it has been shredded.
- Grate the carrot, sweet potato, ginger, turmeric and garlic.
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl and add your salt.
- Massage ingredients until you have created a decent amount of brine at the bottom of your bowl and until your vegetables feel soft, especially the cabbage and wombok. You may need to add a little more salt and keep massaging to get the desired texture, I usually massage for about 5 minutes or so!
- Mix in the black pepper, cayenne pepper and chilli (optional).
- Put all of the ingredients into your crock (if you have one) if not use a glass jar and pour the brine over, making sure it covers all the vegetables. This is where I find the crock and the clay weights come in handy as the weights keep the vegetables below the brine at all times during the fermentation process.
- Once you have added your vegetables and brine to your jars/crock you can seal them up and leave to ferment, depending on where you live will depend on how long you leave them to ferment and also what time of year it is!
- Once fermented to your desired taste keep in the fridge in glass jars while consuming. It won't be in there long enough to go off but in case you are wondering it will store for up to 12 months.
Tips & Tricks:
Jars: The best fermenting jars if you aren't using a crock are fido jars when they come with the rubber seal around the lid which allows the carbon dioxide to escape during the fermenting process and doesn't allow the oxygen to get in to ruin your beloved kimchi.
Fermenting temperature: If you live in a hot humid part of the world you should only have to ferment your kimchi for 2 weeks however if you don't you may be looking at closer to 4 weeks. Ideally you want the temperature during fermentation to be around 22 degrees celsius.
Cabbage core: if you aren't using a crock with weights you can use the core of your cabbage to sit on top of the vegetables in the jar to keep below the jar (talk about nothing goes to waste)
Brine: if you don't have enough liquid from the cabbage/vegetables use filtered water to make up enough brine.
Starter culture: to kick start your fermenting process it is a good idea when you have store bought kimchi to use some of the leftover liquid in your ferment, then continue this process each time you ferment. If you don't have this it isn't a concern the salt will start the fermenting process just fine!