fermentation fun!

Hello friends,

The summer share is sadly over but do not fear because the fun has just begun! All those amazing winter veggies are on the way and guess what that means folks…fermentation fun! Since ancient times, people have enjoyed the healthy and tasty benefits of fermentation. Almost every culture has its own version of fermented food. One of my all time favorites is Kimchi, a simple and delicious korean dish made with vegetables and various seasonings. Traditionally, the greatest varieties of kimchi were available during the winter. In preparation for the long winter months, many types of kimchi were prepared in early winter and stored in the ground in large kimchi pots. November and December are when people would gather together in each others’ homes to help with winter kimchi preparations. To Koreans, Kimchi is so ubiquitous that even the Korea Aerospace Research Institute developed space kimchi to accompany the first Korean astronaut to the Russian-manned space ship Soyuz!

Kimchi is very flexible. Start with soaking cabbage (or any brassica) in a salt water brine over night. Strain the cabbage and save the brine in a jar. Cut up any type of root veggie, hot peppers, or fruit you have lying around. Be creative! Layer them with the cabbage in a big glass jar. Pour the brine in and place something in the jar to weigh it down and keep the cabbage mixture below the brine. (I often use a small glass jar or a plastic bag full of water.) Let it sit covered with a clean rag and keep tasting it periodically to see how strong you like it. Once it tastes fermented enough, cap it and store it in the fridge. It will store for a long time.

White Kimchi is one my favorites. It is made with salted cabbage, radish, parsley, pine nuts, pears, chestnuts, shredded red pepper, garlic, and ginger.

I hope you all enjoy Kimchi this winter and be sure to share all of your Kimchi creations!