For those of you who are unfamiliar, kimchi is a fermented vegetable “pickle” and a mainstay of the Korean diet. The lactobacilli found in fermented foods like kimchi, traditional sauerkraut, kefir, and yogurt are incredibly good for us. Kimchi is a great non-dairy way to get that friendly bacteria into our guts (so’s kombucha, by the way!).
Pretty much anyone who makes it has their own method, but I rounded up a few good ones for starters. As for spiciness, my understanding is that it just depends on the amount of chili paste or flakes that you use. Make sure you use gloves when handling hot pepper!!
This recipe for The Ultimate Kimchi is more of a slightly wacky dissertation, but I think there is some useful info in there, amongst the admonitions to “hug your cabbage with an open, loving heart.” Hee hee! The final product is a bit unusual as well, as the recipe calls for a little fruit. It might be good for more sensitive palates.
A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa is a new blog I just discovered on this search but I’m sure will be added to my feed reader. I really liked what I read! Her page on kimchi includes a traditional Korean version (which she says is quite hot), a recipe for fermented beets, and a recipe for Cortido - Latin American sauerkraut. Definitely check this one out.
I have to include this one from David Lebovitz because he is just so darn fun to read. His recipe is a pretty standard one, adapted in part from Epicurious. But the narrative is all his own, and will definitely make you smile! (Oh joy! He has a post called Kimchi Revisite that he says is a much better recipe.)
p.s. Kimchi is traditionally made in crockery, but mason jars will work just fine. If you want to get fancy (and also guarantee yourself a good unspoiled batch of kimchi every time), check out the wares that Cultures for Health has. I bet if you ask very nicely, you could use our current (thru 9/30/2010) HeyLauraWhat readers’ kombucha discount code: HLW2010 for 15% off. It’s worth asking Julie about! :)