My next adventure is going to be with lacto-fermentation. Simply put, lacto-fermentation is a microbial process using beneficial bacteria including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium spp. and other lactic acid bacteria (LAB) (commonly known as probiotics), which thrive in an anaerobic fermenting environment.
I have started with Cabbage Kimchi. I know I can buy it at the Asian Market or Korean Resturaunt but that’s not near as much fun.
- 1 medium head (2 pounds) napa cabbage
- 1/4 cup sea salt or kosher salt (see Recipe Notes)
- Bottled Spring Water
- 1 tablespoon grated garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
- 8 ounces Korean radish or daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
Update: 7/22/16 – I moved the batch of KimChi into a smaller container and put it in the refrigerator to chill. I taste it and it’s OK. I watched a video from Mama O’s who make a kimchi paste. They do not put radishes in, just cabbage and scallions. I may have to try their kimchi paste and see how that goes. I will post updates.
- Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips.
- Place the cabbage and salt in a large bowl. Using your hands (gloves optional), massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften a bit, then add water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy, like a jar or can of beans. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours.
- Since my brine was not that salty, I drained the cabbagand then rinsed it using 2 bottles of spring ter. I then drained it in ,a colander for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse and dry the bowl you used for salting, and set it aside to use in step 5.
- Meanwhile, combine the garlic, ginger, sugar, and fish sauce in a small bowl and mix to form a smooth paste. Mix in the gochugaru, using 1 tablespoon for mild and up to 5 tablespoons for spicy (I like about 3 1/2 tablespoons).
- Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and return it to the bowl along with the radish, scallions, and seasoning paste.
- Using your hands, gently work the paste into the vegetables until they are thoroughly coated. The gloves are optional here but highly recommended to protect your hands from stings, stains, and smells!
- Pack the kimchi into the jar, pressing down on it until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave at least 1 inch of headspace. Seal the jar with the lid.
- Let the jar stand at room temperature for 1 to 5 days. You may see bubbles inside the jar and brine may seep out of the lid; place a bowl or plate under the jar to help catch any overflow.
- Check the kimchi once a day, pressing down on the vegetables with a clean finger or spoon to keep them submerged under the brine. (This also releases gases produced during fermentation.) Taste a little at this point, too! When the kimchi tastes ripe enough for your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator. You may eat it right away, but it’s best after another week or two.
Note: The above complete recipe can be found at The Kitchen.
I also started a batch or sauerkraut.
- 3 Pounds shredded cabbage
- 2 whole cabbage leaves cut to the size of the jar
- 2 Tablespoons natural sea salt (Imports Saledimare – Coarse)
- Shred cabbage and weigh for 3 pounds
- Place in large bowl, add the salt and massage until cabbage is wilted and you get some liquid.
- Place in 1/2 gallon canning jar, cover with the whole cut leaves and place weights on top.
- Put on lid with airlock.
- Check in 24 hours to make sure everything is covered with liquid. If not, add enough to cover of salted water(1 tsp. To 1 cup water).
- Check starting at day 3 since this is a small batch. Could take up to 10 days depending on temperature.
Update: 7/22/16 – My cabbage does not seem to be fermenting. I am not sure what the the issue is here, I get no bubbles. I think I should see something by now.