Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kimchee - sort of

I check in the refrigerator often to see what needs to be used in there. I have been reading online recently about Kimchee. According to Wiki, one definition is "a traditional fermented Korean dish, made of vegetables with varied seasonings." If you look at the lovely picture they have of traditional Kimchee on there, it puts mine to shame. I probably shouldn't even call it by that name. Sigh...

Last week my husband and I were able to go to Bloomington, Indiana where there is a marvelous natural foods store, Blooming Foods. I knew that in our fridge was a small amount of whey leftover from making the kefir cheese, and so I bought some organic vegetables, planning to make Kimchee. Here they are - cabbages, carrots, garlic, ginger, onion, and a beautiful Daikon radish:

I chopped the onion and garlic by hand, but everything else I chopped up in the electric food processor. If any of you are from Korea, you might want to look the other way. Here are all the vegetables except the cabbage in my huge stainless steel bowl. Also, the crushed red pepper flakes are in here too:

Last of all, I shredded the cabbage and added it, sprinkling the salt between layers of cabbage:

Next, I used the end of a piece of wooden dowel to pound the vegetables. I pounded and stirred them until it was all quite juicy:

Then, I put it all into a gallon jar, covered with a few cabbage leaves weighted down with my clean rocks.

I let that sit out, covered, at room temperature for 3 days, then put it into the refrigerator. It should take about 2 weeks to really get going, but we are eating it already after about a week. I love it. My husband does NOT. He doesn't like sour things. Here is the recipe I used:

2 medium heads of cabbage (Korean's would use Nappa cabbages) cored and shredded
1 large white onion, chopped
6 good sized carrots, shredded
1 Daikon radish, cut into little strips
3 Tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 head of garlic (mine was really big, so I only used half of it) peeled, crushed and diced
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
4 Tablespoons RealSalt
1 cup kefir whey (any kind of raw whey will work, from cheesemaking, strained yogurt or kefir)

Prepare all the vegetables and put them into a very large bowl, crock or food safe bucket, or more than one container if you need to in order to have enough room.

When you add the cabbage, do it in layers, adding the salt as you go.

Pound and mix the vegetables until it is very juicy.

Pack firmly into a gallon-sized glass jar.

Cover with cabbage leaves held down by clean rocks (or some other arrangement you come up with.)

Cover jar. Let sit at room temperature, venting the jar occasionally, for 3 days. Then refrigerate.

When you are ready to eat some, either right away or after a week or two, remove the rocks and cabbage leaves and enjoy!

If you DO like sour things, you will love this. It is very spicy and delicious and being a naturally fermented vegetable dish, it is very healthy and good for you!

If you would like to see how to make REAL Kimchee, check out this site ~

I've connected this recipe to Wardeh's Simple Lives Thursday.


  1. I have some of this in the fridge minus the radish, it has some beets instead. I also love it, my husband does not. He sort of forgot that the other night at dinner. After taking a big mouth full, he spit it out on his plate, looked at me really confused and said "I forgot, that is not really my favorite" I haven't laugh that hard in awhile.

  2. LOL poor guy! Megan, did you use a recipe similar to mine or is yours more authentic?


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