Kimchi - a traditional Korean dish, much like our sauerkraut, is basically fermented cabbage with lots of heat, spicy heat. The variations for kimchi recipes could make your head spin; so for now, we'll keep to the basics - Napa cabbage kimchi. Our farmers have been harvesting beautiful Napa cabbage, perfect for a batch of kimchi. Here's the link to a good basic recipe.
In kimchi production, fermentation is a chemical process where carbohydrate is converted to acid and gas using naturally occurring bacteria.
First step - clean, core, cut and soak your cabbage.
Unlike our sauerkraut, kimchi is highly seasoned and typically contains other veggies. For my batch of kimchi I'm adding radishes, carrots and scallions - all from the farmers market. Other additions - garlic and ginger. I couldn't find Kimchi chili powder so I substituted Sambal Oelek for the spice, a chili paste. You'll also need fish sauce - it's a fermented liquid made from, yes, fish. Don't be put off by its smell - it is, peculiar - but adds to the classic flavor. Some recipes actually call for the addition of raw fish to the kimchi.
From my 2 heads of Napa cabbage and my veggie add-ins, I ended up with 3 quarts for kimchi. Now the fermentation process begins. The jars are sealed tight and left at room temp for 2 days or so - until the kimchi bubbles, indicating fermentation has begun.
Check in later this week to see how my kimchi is progressing.