Ever been caught eating kimchi, straight from the jar? Guilty. If you know a thing or two about your gut health, by now kimchi will be your best friend. Kimchi’s high does of Vit A and C, plus its beneficial gut-boosting lactobacilli bacteria, gives this superfood a prized spot in most health conscious urbanites’ fridges. But besides its medicinal values, truth is, most of us don’t actually know what to do with it…
Time for some kimchi SOS.
We caught up with some of London’s most cultured kimchi makers for exclusive top-secret recipes, plus delicious staple ways to use our gut-loving friend in the kitchen, including pretty poke bowls, posh fish and chips and kimchi Marys.
Traditional Vegan Kimchi with Posh Fish and Chips
By Bottlebrush Ferments
- 2 heads of Napa/ Chinese cabbage - cut in half length ways, remove core/ stem and cut into 2cm chunks/ strips cross ways. Place into a large mixing tub or bowl
- 1 Mooli/ Daikon white radish - cut into thin discs or if it’s large, cut in half length ways first and then cut into half disc. Add to mixing bowl
- 2 medium sized carrots grated/ shredded
- 1 bunch of spring onions - cut cross ways, or diagonally if you want to make them look pretty, into 2cm chunks
- 3 - 4 Large red chillies (or your chilli of choice if you want to go hotter. We use a Thai birds eye in our Hot Kimchi)
- 2 - 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated/ finely chopped
- 2 inch piece of ginger root, peeled and grated/ finely chopped
- 1/2 cup of Gochugaru - Coarse Korean red pepper powder from Amazing or your local Asian supermarket)
- 1/2 cup of Kosher/ Celtic sea/ or our favourite, pink Himalayan rock salt.
1. Once all the ingredients are in the mixing bowl, mix them together well by hand making sure they’re all covered in the pepper powder and most importantly the salt.
2. Leave the ingredients covered to “sweat” for a while. An hour or two will be fine. This allows the salt to start interacting with the veggies and drawing out the water inside them. This makes your brine.
3. Mash the veggies by hand. Get in there, get dirty. Put rubber gloves on if you want, but give them a good squeeze and draw out as much water as you can.
4. Start packing your mixture into your large jar. Grab a big handful, squeeze out all the water into the mixing bowl and keep it to pour in your jar at the end. Pack the veggies in tight and try and expel any pockets of air.
5. Fill the jar to about 2/3 full leave some room for brine and also for expansion. This is crucial or you will get leaky or worse case scenario, exploding jars and a Kimchi juice covered kitchen.
6. Weight down your Kimchi with a pickle pebble. This allows it to stay completely submerged, which is crucial to encourage the growth of good bacteria and eliminate the bad.
7. Pour in your brine to completely cover the Kimchi, but again leave a bit of space at the top for expansion.
8. Place your jars somewhere warm/ room temperature, but not hot, out of direct sunlight. Leave for a few days. Burp jar to expel build up of natural gases every day or so.
9. Taste from about day 5. Enjoy.
Classic Korean Kimchi in a Pretty Poke Bowl
By The Cultured Collective
3x Heaped TBSN Coarse Sea Salt
2x Chinese leaf cabbages
¼ small daikon/mooli radish (~100g)
1 medium sized carrot
2x bunches of spring onions
For the Rice porridge
1 ½ TBSN Glutinous rice flour (~10g) (available from good asian supermarkets)
1 C Filtered Water
3x tspn unrefined cane sugar
For the Spice Paste
10x garlic cloves (crushed)
1in piece ginger (roughly sliced)
½ medium Brown onion (roughly sliced)
3x TBSN fish sauce (optional)
5x TBSN gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes – available from good asian supermarkets)
You will need: large Kilner jar (or similar) for fermenting.
1) Brine the cabbage - Slice cabbage into bite-sized chunks. Add a handful of cabbage to a large ceramic bowl, followed by a generous pinch of sea salt. Toss gently. Brine the cabbage for 2 hours in total, gently turning and re-mixing every 30 minutes.
2) Prepare the rice porridge - Place water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Slowly add in your rice flour, whisking as you go to ensure that no large clumps form. When your mixture is the consistency of runny honey, add in the sugar and stir continuously for a further 2-3 minutes. The mixture should now be a more translucent creamy colour. Set aside and leave to cool to room temperature.
3) Prepare the remaining vegetables - Peel and julienne the carrots and daikon. Discard the root and soiled outer leaves of the spring onions and finely shred.
4) Prepare your spice paste - Add all spice paste ingredient except the gochugaru flakes to a food processor and blitz until smooth. Transfer to a large ceramic bowl. Once the rice porridge has reached room temperature, add to the spice paste and mix. Add the gochugaru flakes and mix thoroughly until a smooth homogenous paste is formed.
5) Mix, pack & ferment - Combine the brined cabbage with the spice past. Add in the julienned carrots, radish and shredded spring onions. Take a handful of your vegetable mixture, place it into the base of the jar and pat down firmly, ensuring that all air bubbles are squeezed out. Repeat until all the mixture has been packed into the jar. Seal your jar firmly shut.
6) Taste test your kimchi – if its yet to develop the strength of acidity/sourness that you’re after, then leave it for another day before testing again. Once you’re happy, transfer it into the fridge and enjoy!
By Team Balance
2 packed cups kimchi (16 ounces)
1.3 L of v8 vegetable juice (don’t use tomato juice)
1/4 cup Sriracha chile sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups vodka (16 ounces) - FAIR Vodka recommended
Ice Mint sprigs or shiso leaves, for garnish
1) Working in batches, puree the kimchi with the tomato juice, Sriracha, Worcestershire and vinegar.
2) Set a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and strain the kimchi puree, pressing gently on the solids to extract as much juice as possible; you should have 6 cups of kimchi-Mary mix.
3) Discard the solids or reserve them for another use.
4) Chill thoroughly, then season with salt and pepper and stir in the vodka.
5) Serve over ice, garnished with mint sprigs or shiso leaves.
For more delicious kimchi SOS, don't forget to check out more from Bottlebrush Ferments
and The Cultured Collective.