Nurture Your Gut! A Recipe for Fermented Kimchi

Nurture Your Gut! A Recipe for Fermented Kimchi

| MegaFood | March 2016 |

March is #NationalNutritionMonth! This years “theme,” as set by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, is to experiment with new combinations of herbs and spices as we "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right."

To tie in with that theme, we bring you Kimchi, a traditional Korean vegetable dish that’s just full of flavor.  Here we share a recipe for homemade Kimchi from our MegaFoodie Friend, Leslie Paine.

If you’re looking for ways to up your probiotic intake, making homemade fermented foods is an excellent option! Not only are these foods a great way to make your gut happy, but the fermentation process is really fun, too. Younger family members may also enjoy helping with all the the smashing and squeezing that entails from this centuries-old tradition.

And, if you’re curious as to why nourishing the friendly bacteria in your gut is important, check out Probiotics: The Key to a Healthy Microbiome to learn more!

So, roll up your sleeves, wash your hands, and get ready to ferment! You may be surprised at how simple it is.

Traditional Korean Kimchi: Recipe by Leslie Paine

You will need:

  • 1 Head of Bok choy
  • 1 Head Napa Cabbage
  • ½ Head Green Cabbage
  • 6 Cloves garlic
  • 3” Daikon Radish
  • 2” fresh Ginger Root
  • 1 C Carrots
  • 2-5 Tablespoons of Korean Red Pepper (according to heat tolerance)
  • Unrefined salt (mineral salt, sea salt, kosher salt, just don’t use iodized salt)*
  • Large ceramic crock or glass jar

*To Note: The more salt you use the crunchier the cabbage will be.

Slice your cabbages into thin strips and layer them into a very large bowl. Sprinkle the salt over the cabbage as you add to your bowl, 1-2 Tablespoons per large cabbage.

Grate the garlic, daikon, ginger, carrots and Korean Red Pepper and add to the bowl along with more salt. Begin to mix the vegetables together in the bowl. Squeezing and macerating the cabbage will help begin the process of breaking it down and releasing the water. Macerate for approx. 10 minutes.

You are now ready to pack the mixture into your large clean crock. Pack tightly into your container, pushing any loose pieces down as you go. If your vegetables have not created enough brine to be covered, make a salt brine by mixing 1 tablespoon of salt with 2 cups of water. (This keeps your Kimchi fermenting happily without risk of spoilage.)

Place a plate over the vegetables and weight it down with a canning jar filled with water. (Do not use chlorinated or treated water.)

Drape a clean cotton towel over this so little flying things do not find their way in! Because there are variables such as the room temperature and the amount of salt used, there is no exact timetable for when your Kimchi is ready. Keep a close eye on it, tasting periodically. After approximately one week, you should note that delicious fermented smell in the air. When the flavor is at a point where you are happy with it, it is done!

Pack into jars and store in the fridge; Kimchi will keep for a long time when properly stored.