Who doesnt love kimchi? This strange food – ‘Asia’s sauerkraut’ right? We were just talkin’ about it as a rotten spicy cabbage… back in the day. hahahahaha … Now i know. :)

One of my favourite. I will tell you my ‘sortoforiginal’ basic kimchi recipe ( quite like the Momofuku recipe) but u can also google out billions and trillions of other ones. Im only telling you a secret. No limits or border lines when i am talking about kimchi. I call everything ‘kimchi’ containing spicy vegetables and going through a lacto fermentation with some aging.

Here i had a fennel bulb at home which really needed some love – so i decided to make my fennel kimchi. Easy and quick to prepare – harder to be patient to wait at least 2 weeks. Thats my minimum waiting period before try and place into the fridge (for more aging).

This ‘adhoc’ recipe more or less:

  • one big fennel
  • one big carrot
  • handful of wild garlic
  • big thumb sized ginger
  • 2 big red chillies
  • 1tbs salt
  • 1tbs muscovado sugar
  • 1tbs soy
  • 1tbs starter*

*footnote u dont really need any sort of starter when u make kimchisalt is enough for the fermentation but i wanted to cheat a bit – this makes the proccess faster plus i believe the ‘yeast’ part gives another dimension to the whole flavour composition. I do use rye starter (sourdough bread baking) cause i prefer this (also i always have it in my fridge) but other recipes usually call for active sauerkraut juice, whey or u can buy these ‘lactobacillus probiotic capsules’ (never tried them).

But as i mentioned before – use what u have home. Use up onions, cabbages, peppers, daikon etc etc – only because u can. U can make it more spicier adding more chilli or chilli paste (original recipe calls for Korean chilli flakes) or spicemixes… your freedom is limitless. I usually love to add a piece of fruit for its natural sugar content (apples or pear, pineapples…) but here i just ran out so i added that tbs of sugar instead. Only one thing is important for the safe fermentation – the quantity of salt which always should be around 2,5-3% of the main ingredients. Salt can be simple salt or soy or miso or naturally salted seaweed etc etc. The limitless is so excited!

So first u just slice your fennel (i was having an orange for lunch and thought to save and use its aromatic skin so i added to the fennel – cause no waste and also delicious nomnom) and add your salt and mix it. The fennel’s water content will appear soon – u see becoming juicier.

Now prep and chopp your other ingredients (i julienned here everything, carrot, ginger and chillies) – and left the seeds in with the chillies cause i dont use other ‘spices’ and i do love spiciness.

Now u can spoon your sugar/starter/soy in the mix.

Done. No atom physics. Put the mix into a steril jar and close it. Dont even thinking about to open for two weeks and leave it at room temperature. Cause its not covered fully with brine and u didnt use vac pac machine to seal it in a bag – shake once or twice every day. Hmmmm i cant wait. :)

sortoforiginal kimchi recipe:

  • 1 chopped napa cabbage
  • 2tbs salt
  • 2tbs sugar
    • u macerate the cabbage with these and leave it overnight
  • 100g sugar
  • 20 cloves of garlic
  • 20 slices of ginger
  • 48g chilli flakes
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp salted shrimp paste
  • 50 g spring onions
  • 75 g carrots

Open up your mouth…!

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