Kimchi is a trendy health food right now and if you go to your local farmer’s market, chances are that there will be a kimchi/sauerkraut/fermented salad vendor. The vendor at our local farmer’s market sells a tiny little container for $6 each and this inspired us to try our own! For those of you who don’t know, Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made of fermented vegetables…usually cabbage and Daikon radish. The dish is full of Probiotics due to the fermentation process and it’s also the perfect balance of crunch, zest and spice. It’s super versatile and can be used in or alongside a number of dishes…we paired ours with a heavenly Bibimbap bowl. Important note: You’ll need to start your Kimchi about a week in advance but other than that it’s easy! We also figured out that you can make a huge batch of Kimchi for about the same price as it would cost you to buy a teeny container of hipster Kimchi at the farmer’s market. Try it!
I loved this wine with the spicy Kimchi! It’s a sweeter wine (which normally I don’t like!) but with the spice of the Kimchi it was the perfect balance. I think the main reason that I liked this wine so much is because, despite being a bit sweet, it’s citrusy and pleasantly acidic. The most prominent flavors are green apple and lemon…my favorite. This would be awesome with appetizers or any spicy cuisine.
A brown ale was definitely a great choice for the kimchi and the bibimbap that we served it on! The rich malt flavors help to wash down the spicy and tangy flavors of the kimchi but the beer is carbonated and light enough that it was still refreshing.
Napa Cabbage Kimchi
From this recipe
1 (2-pound) napa cabbage
1/2 cup kosher salt
About 12 cups cold water, plus more as needed
8 ounces daikon radish, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
4 medium scallions, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces (use all parts)
1/3 cup Korean red pepper powder (I found this at Whole Foods!)
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger (from about a 2-ounce piece)
1 tablespoon minced garlic cloves (from 6 to 8 medium cloves)
2 teaspoons Korean salted shrimp, minced (Available at Asian markets)
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1. Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 2-inch pieces, discarding the root end. Place in a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt, and toss with your hands until the cabbage is coated. Add enough cold water to just cover (about 12 cups), making sure the cabbage is submerged (it’s OK if a few leaves break the surface).Cover with plastic wrap or a baking sheet and let sit at room temperature at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
2. Place a colander in the sink, drain the cabbage, and rinse with cold water. Gently squeeze out the excess liquid and transfer to a medium bowl; set aside.
3. Place the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.Add the cabbage and toss with your hands until evenly combined and the cabbage is thoroughly coated with the mixture.
4. Pack the mixture tightly into a clean 2-quart or 2-liter glass jar with a tight fitting lid and seal the jar.Let sit in a cool, dark place for 24 hours (the mixture may bubble). Open the jar to let the gases escape, then reseal and refrigerate at least 48 hours before eating (kimchi is best after fermenting about 1 week). Refrigerate for up to 1 month.
Kimchi needs time to ferment, so start a batch about a week before you plan to use it.
Special equipment: You will need a clean 2-quart or 2-liter glass jar with a tight fitting lid to hold the kimchi while it ferments. Do not use plastic, as the odors from the kimchi can be hard to remove from plastic.