Saturday, July 18, 2009

Kim Chee

A crock of kim chee is resting in the fridge. I can't believe how easy it is. Adapted (simplified the process) from Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cookbook. The hardest part was finding a suitable jar. I use a half gallon jar that held marinated artichokes from costco),

1 lb bok choy, cut in 2" sections, or whole if using baby
1 lb white radish, peeled, halved then cut crosswise in thin slices
3 T salt
2 T finely minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 T minced garlic
5 scallions with greens, sliced
1 T cayenne or hot Korean pepper (I have used crushed red pepper flakes and sricha)
1 t sugar

Combine 2 T + 2 t salt and 5 cups water, stirring to dissolve salt. Place choy and radish in a crock, large jar or a bowl if that's what you have. Pour salt solution over veggies, stirring and dunking them in water a few times. They tend to float. cover loosely (I rubberband a papertowel over the top) and let rest on the counter for 12 hours or so, dunking the cabbage back into the liquid if you think about it.

Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour off most of the soaking water into a large glass measuring cup or other container. Stir spices into cabbage, then add soaking water to cover (about 2 C). Give the mix a final stir, cover loosely, and let ferment on the counter for 3 - 7 days, depending on the air temp (summer will be quicker than winter). Taste after 3 days to check sourness. When it's to your liking, cover the jar and store in the fridge.

Serve about 1/4 C per person. You can use the pickling liquid to flavor soups.

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