Well, to tell the truth, this recipe is not like any other. And i have a good reason not to follow the world renowned Korean dish. I am allergic to peppers; therefore, bell peppers, chilli and cayenne pepper, have all to be banned from my diet. Making Kimchi just for the fun of it and show it in my blog, made no sense to me, unless I was going to feed the neighbours...
The recipe below contains chilli : )
but the pictures will not show a deep red mix unfortunately...
Cut the Chinese Cabbage in half. Then cut each half in 4 lengthwise wedges. Then slice to make 2 inch squares. Pull each leaves of Pak Choi and cut about the same size as Chinese Cabbage, and slice finely the spring onions. Place in a large container and clean thoroughly.
Strain and sprinkle with salt.
Peel carrot and using the peeler, make strips. Repeat with Radish. Cut each strips in half, or more, to obtain 3 inch long strips. Add to slated Cabbage, and mix well. Let to rest for around 2-3 hours.
Make the chilli and shrimps paste: place grossly chopped ginger, garlic, and onions in food processor until very finely chopped. Place in a bowl with the chilli, the finely chopped shrimps, the fish sauce and sugar, and mix well.
Once the cabbage has wilted, Rinse thoroughly, then strain. Pat dry with a clean cloth if necessary. And toss, using gloves, the cabbage with the paste.
Place cabbage mix in Kilner-like jar and close. You may need to add a little pure, or filtered, water (no tap water - chlorine will prevent the fermentation process).
Leave at room temperature for 3 to 5 days until you see bubbles appear. Pushing down with a wooden spoon should bring some bubbles to the surface. Note that some of the brine may sip out of the lid - keep a plate underneath jar in case.
The warmer the room the faster the fermentation process. Kimchi should be pleasant to eat, if in anyway it taste really sour, or really unpleasant, it means the wrong kind of bacteria has developed. Make sure to use a very clean jar and utensils.
I have in fact invited the neighbours around to try my spicy version of Kimchi. It seems it was quite a success indeed, however, having had little chance to taste it (which, I have in fact not done once chilli pepper was added to the recipe) meant that my neighbours became my guinea pigs... Well, I was saved.
Apparently, adding a whole teaspoon of chilli to one jar was just "a touch" over the mild-to-slightly-hot Kimchi : )
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Olivier is a Michelin trained chef, a registered Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist, embracing fully his passion for good food and healthy eating.