My husband and I love the show “M.A.S.H”. In fact, we recently finished the entire series. We had been slowly watching all the episodes on Neflix over the past year or so. It was on this show that I first heard about Kimchi (I know, I’m so cultured. LOL!) What I didn’t realize was that is similar to Sour Kraut – something I’m very familiar with – having some German ancestry in my family. However, I’ve never actually made my own Sour Kraut let alone my own Kimchi. My friend Brigett over at 2 Herb It Up gave a tutorial on Periscope not too long ago on how to make your own Sour Kraut and Kimchi at home. Not only did I learn what the process entailed, but I also learned the nutritional value of eating these foods. According to what Brigett said, these fermented foods provide an excellent source of natural probiotics – what our bodies need to aid in good digestion and overall good gut health. What I was very surprised to learn was how easy the process is to make these fermented foods! If you know me well, you know I’m all about simple, easy, and healthy foods, so I knew I had to give it a try. Being that I had never had Kimchi before, I decided to try to make it rather than Sour Kraut this time around. Here is what you’ll need.
1/2 head of cabbage – shredded
1 cup carrots – chopped or shredded
1/2 cup green onion – finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic – minced or pressed. You can adjust the amount to your taste.
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger – grated or finely minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper – more or less depending on your preference
1 – 1 1/2 Tablespoon sea salt
I first gathered and prepared all of my ingredients so I knew I would leave anything out. The next step is to fill a glass jar with the cabbage and begin pounding it with some sort of mallet. I have a large smooth rolling pin without handles, so I used this to pound the cabbage. You’ll want to gently pound the cabbage until all the juices run and the cabbage is setting in the juice (about 10 minutes). Add in the remaining ingredients – carrots, green onion, garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper, and salt. Continue to gently pound your veggies for another few minutes so the juices from the carrots and onions are pressed as well. Soon you’ll find all your veggies soaking in liquid. If they are not covered in liquid, you’ll want to add some filtered water until everything is completely submerged. Use a cabbage leaf or two from the remaining half of your cabbage and cover the top of your Kimchi. I then used a smaller jar, setting it on top of the cabbage leaves to hold everything down in the liquid.
The Kimchi needs to breath while it ferments, so I covered the top of my jar with a coffee filter and secured it with a rubber band.
And the work is finished! All you do now, is leave it setting on your counter for a few days – just be sure you don’t forget about it. I will admit, it was hard to forget about it after the second full day on the counter. We woke to this “smell” permeating the house and could NOT figure out what it was. Turns out it was the Kimch, Lol! Day 3 proved to be a much less smelly day, and by day 5 we couldn’t smell it at all. Thank goodness!!
After a few days on the counter you’ll want to begin tasting your Kimchi to see if it is ready to store in the fridge. According to Brigett, the fermenting process may only take 3 days in the warmer months, but a few more in the colder months. After testing on Day 3, I decided to let it set a while longer. To be honest, I was too busy on Day 4, so I didn’t have a chance to test it. On Day 5, I thought it was tasting pretty good. It had a nice sour taste, a slight crunch from the cabbage, and the flavors were melded together quite nicely.
After removing the cabbage leaves from the top, I stirred all the veggies to loosen what was on the bottom and added just a touch more water to keep everything covered. I replaced the coffee filter with a regular lid and the Kimchi is now in our fridge.
Even if we don’t eat a lot of it in one sitting, I’m hoping we’ll remember to eat even just one or two bites of it each day. Our bodies can definitely use the probiotics!
If you want to learn more about natural health, be sure to check out my friend, Brigett’s blog over at 2 Herb It Up!
I would love to know your experiences if you’ve ever made Kimchi or Sour Kraut!