I’ve been wanting to make my own kimchi for ages – but it’s one of those things I’ve just never got round to. Until now, I’ve only ever had it in Korean restaurants, or out of a jar. It’s much easier to make than I would have thought – the only stumbling block is that you’re going to have to plan ahead – this version takes a week to prepare because of all the waiting around. Easy – just slow.
One thing you might like to try though, is to prepare the kimchi and then have portion off some before its fermented. You won’t get that deep, dark, sour taste, but you will get yourself a nice crunchy pickle to have on the side of some noddles, or in a tasty salad bowl like I’ve done here. Add eggs, toasted cashews, grated carrot, a tangle of beansprouts, some crispy radishes and a little pot of soy sauce and you’re good to go for a lunchbox with a difference.
So here we go:
Easy Kimchi Salad Bowl
(makes one large jar of kimchi – add whatever salad / noodle / rice combo you fancy)
1 cabbage, sliced thinly (the traditional one to use is a Chinese cabbage, but I used a green pointed one and it was fine – more crunchy, in fact, which I liked)
4 tablespoons course sea salt
2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean fermented chilli paste)
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons very finely grated garlic
2 tablespoons very finely grated ginger
1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean chilli powder) (optional – if you include this it will REALLY blow your head off – but it is authentic – they like it HOT!)
1. Mix the course salt with the sliced cabbage in a large bowl and cover with a weighted-down plate. Leave at room temperature for 12 hours.
2. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a small bowl, then pour over the cabbage. Use your hands to massage the mixture into the cabbage really thoroughly. And then wash your hands! This is the stage where you can portion off some to have as a light (but hot!), fresh pickle.
3. Pack the mixture into a sterilised glass jar and leave at room temperature for 48 hours, then transfer to the fridge for another 72 hours before using.
4. Serve with a tangle of beansprouts and some boiled eggs for a lunchbox with a difference – add some rice if you’re going to get peckish!
I’m adding this to Jacqueline’s Meat Free Mondays – have a look for some more meat-free ideas – I always get loads of inspiration from her blog and all her lovely contributors!