One of our CSA members has recommended making kim chi. Kim chi is traditional korean dish that is essentially a fermented vegetable mixture that is often spicy, vinegary, and delicious. It’s easy to make and will allow you to store a lot of vegetables in a small space and spice up your life.
This is for a 1-2 gallon amount of vegetables, shredded, or diced, so they are in edible size pieces. The pieces will shrink a little, as they would in cooking.
1. Layer cabbage, cucumber, and boc choy in non-reactive bowl (glass or plastic, not metal), salt each layer thoroughly.
2. Leave to set 3-4 hours. Weigh down veggies, a plate and a weight on top works well. This allows the salt and water from the vegetables to mix thoroughly, creating a brine.
3. Rinse vegetation thoroughly, combine a puree of 1/2 apple, 1/2 peach, garlic and ginger to taste, as well as your kim chi base (more to come on this). Mix in an additional 1/2 apple and 1/2 pear (rough cubed) with thin slices of onion and chives.
4. Seal container, (you can shove this stuff in glass mason jars, or leave in original container, for 3-4 days. Ensure that some of the CO2 that will be exuded from the fermentation process can hiss out of the jar, or you can get a leaky or exploding mess. (i.e. leave mason jar not totally sealed, or also burp jar each day to let out CO2). If you do not let CO2 out, and you’re lucky enough for it not to leak or explode, you may have fizzy kim chi, which is not what you want. (This is how fermented products become fizzy, like ginger beer).
Kim Chi Base: (Important: many kim chi bases involve shrimp paste or other fish based pastes, so read the ingredients. They also tend to contain A LOT of MSG, which is not very good for you.
Here’s a good recipe on how to make the sauce, and below, an alternative to fish or oyster sauce. Go nuts! (beautiful pictures included!) The explanation of the salt is different, this one dissolves salt in water, the one above just sprinkles salt on the layers. Be sure to rinse thoroughly either way!
Vegetarian Oyster Sauce
1Dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water.
2Dissolve the broth cube in the boiling water.
3Mix with the sauce and the sugar in small saucepan and heat to boiling.
4Add the dissolved corn starch and stir until it thickens.
5Cool and store in covered jar.