This spicy Korean side dish is packed with antioxidants and fibre. And because it’s fermented, it contains live bacteria that benefit our gut health.
Serves 1 jar
Preparation Time: 30 minutes, plus six hours brining
1 napa / Chinese leaf cabbage
150g sea salt
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 thumb-size piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
60g gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder) or cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons Korean shrimp paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 daikon / mooli radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
5 spring onions, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise, remove the core, then slice thinly.
Put the cabbage in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Rub the salt into the cabbage leaves with your hands for a few minutes. Cover with water, cover and set aside for up to six hours.
Drain the cabbage, reserving 500ml of the brining liquid. Rinse the cabbage in plenty of cold water, squeezing to remove any excess liquid. Set aside.
Put the garlic, ginger, sugar, gochugaru, shrimp paste and fish sauce into a food processor or blender and blitz to make a paste.
Add the daikon and spring onions to the bowl with the cabbage and toss to combine.
Pour over the paste and use your hands to mix well (it’s best to wear disposable gloves), until all the vegetables are covered with the paste.
Pack the mixture into a sterilised glass jar, making sure there are no air bubbles. Pour over the reserved brining liquid, leaving a 2cm gap at the top of the jar to allow for the kimchi to expand and gas to form. Close the jar.
Leave the kimchi to ferment for 2 to 5 days. Open the jar each day to release any gas and press the vegetables down into the brine. When you’re happy with the flavour, put the kimchi in the fridge. It will keep for up to three months.
It’s the moment for fermented foods