This is my recipe for a combination of sauerkraut and kimchi. I thought I had invented it until I found variations all over the internet.
My motivation was the complexity of making kimchi compared to my confidence with sauerkraut. Add to that a day spent on a Korean Food Safari eat and learning about authentic kimchi and I was hooked, and as soon as I ran out of the kimchi I bought on the day I decided to do kimchi flavoured sauerkraut.
- 2 tsp salt per 500g chopped cabbage (check the ingredients in the salt, there should be no fillers – they will make the ferment cloudy)
- Filtered water if necessary
- Cabbage, cut into quarters or eighths then into slices, (quantity depends on size of cabbage which will need to be weighed to calculate the amount of salt needed.)
- One large Cabbage leaf kept aside to put on top of the ferment to keep everything submerged
- 1 bulb garlic cloves peeled and crushed
- 4 cm piece of ginger
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1 daikon radish, peeled and grated
- 1 bunch of green onions, cut into 2cm pieces
- 1/2 cup Korean chilli powder
- Use a large bowl (a plastic washing bowl works well) sprinkle cabbage with the salt and mix well. Leave to rest for a while – takes a bit of time.
- Liquid will start coming out of the cabbage and it will soften a bit.
- Massage the cabbage for at least 10 minutes, and may be more, to create the brine.
- Put on gloves, add the rest of the ingredients and mix everything together well.
- Pack the mixture into a sterilised fermenting jar, periodically pressing the mixture down tightly with your fist, a large lump of wood (I have one for the purpose) or a pestle so that the brine rises above the top of the mixture and no air pockets remain.
- Leave about 2 cm of space between the top of the cabbage and the top of the jar and pour any brine left into the jar.
- Scrape down the sides of the jar, fold the remaining cabbage leaf to fit the jar, place it on top of the mix and add weights to keep everything submerged. Add additional filtered water if necessary.
- Cap it with a water seal or loose fitting lid, put in a place out of direct light and with a stable temperature. My pantry (which contains a freezer) seems to be perfect for Fermentation.
- Leave for at least a week then begin tasting. When it has achieved a sourness that you are happy with then rebottle and store in the fridge.