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Make your own Kimchi

 If you don’t know what kimchi is, it’s probably best to start there… 
Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made from fermented vegetables, with napa cabbage and Korean radishes being the most common ingredients. 
I struggled to get napa cabbage, so used sweetheart cabbage instead and I don’t like radish. so I swapped that out for carrots & spring onions. 
Traditionally, there are many variations of kimchi, and regional differences often exist in the preparation and ingredients used. Besides the traditional napa cabbage and radish kimchi (called “baechu kimchi” and “kkakdugi” respectively), there are versions made with other vegetables like cucumber, Korean watercress, and more. So you get to use what you like to create your own version.
Kimchi is not only tasty but also nutritious, as it is rich in vitamins, minerals, and probiotics due to the fermentation process. 
It’s also a really quick fermenting process, this is 2-3 days rather than 4-6 weeks like saurkrauts would be. And if you like spicy… this is one for you!
  • 1 sweetheart cabbage (approx 700g, I top up with white cabbage if it’s a small sweetheart. You can also use napa/chinese cabbage instead)
  • 50g fine sea salt (I use pink Himalayan salt)
  • 4–6 garlic cloves 
  • 20g fresh root ginger grated
  • 20g chillies (I used a mix of fresh chilli and hot cayenne pepper)
  • 5 spring onions
  • 150g carrot (approx)
 Chop the cabbage into quarters then chunk it down to approx 3cm x 3cm pieces (it can be pretty rough). Put that into a bowl and massage the salt through, leaving that to the side for 2-3 hours until it’s reduced down to about 1/3 , the leaves should have gone a bit floppy.  
When that’s ready, rinse, sit in a bowl of filtered water (cold) for 10mins, drain that off and return to the bowl. 
Chop the carrots and spring onions into strips approx 3-5cm long and 3mm thick. 
In a blender or food processor add the garlic, ginger, and chillies and blend into a paste. 
Mix it all together into the bowl cabbage, carrots, spring onions (or whatever veg you choose to use) along with the paste. You want to massage that all together – to protect your hands from the chilli it is strongly advisable to wear catering gloves or put a thin plastic sandwich bag over your hand… If you have ever rubbed your eye after cutting chillies you will understand!! You can mix it with a spoon, but the massage is better. 
Once you have done all that, get a glass jar with an air-tight lid (I used a 2 litre mason jar), and spoon your mix into the jar, you don’t want to pack it too tightly. Put the lid on, then leave it in a dark/shaded spot for 2-3 days. If your room is warmer than 20deg it will ferment faster so it will be ready sooner. If your room is cooler than 18deg, it might take a day longer. 
Once you are happy, transfer them into smaller air-tight jars, keep in the fridge and enjoy…

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