Monday, 24 October 2016

vegan kimchi

KIMCHIIIII! My newest addiction. Seriously - try it... you'll be addicted too, promise!

Kimchi is a Korean dish consisting of spicy, crunchy veggies and salt. It can be eaten fresh or fermented, BUT fermented is the way forward - that way you can reap the benefits of immunity boosting, gut-loving good bacteria...and it tastes much better too!

Traditional kimchi uses fish sauce to add a umami element to the dish - I replaced this with kelp powder and a little water, however I've heard of people using wakame (seaweed), miso paste and mushrooms - you could try one of these if you can't find kelp powder! I found it easy to locate all of the other ingredients, with the exception of the gochugaru chilli. This is a coursely ground red pepper with a texture in between flakes and powder. The flavour is hot, sweet and slightly smoky - this ingredient is essential for making kimchi - it cannot be replaced with 'normal' chilli flakes/powder. I found mine here on Amazon.

This recipe filled a 1 litre mason jar (you'll need one of these too - a screw top jar will also work)

  • 1 large head of Chinese leaf 
  • ¼ cup of sea salt

  • 1 heaped tbsp of glutinous rice flour
  • ½ cup of water
  • 10 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kelp powder, mixed with 3 tbsp water
  • 6 tbsp gochugaru chilli 

  • 4 spring onions, sliced into inch thick pieces
  • 1 carrot, julienned or cut into ribbons

Begin by preparing the cabbage - slice Chinese leaf length-ways into quarters and cut off the cores. Then cut across to make 2 inch bite-sized pieces. 

Next we will salt the cabbage. Find a large bowl - add cabbage and sea salt and begin to massage salt into cabbage pieces. Do this for a few minutes - until cabbage beings to soften, then fill the bowl with water until all pieces are covered. Place a plate with something heavy-ish on top of the cabbage - this will ensure all of the pieces are submerged in saltwater. Leave this to soak for 1.5 hours, turning every 30 minutes to ensure the pieces are evenly salted. 

Whilst cabbage is soaking, prepare kimchi seasoning. Add glutinous rice flour and ½ cup of water to a saucepan over heat, whisking continuously. When the mixture starts to become 'gluey' remove from heat and place in the fridge to cool down. Once cooled, add rice flour paste, garlic, ginger, onion, sugar, kelp powder (and 3 tbsp water) and gochugaru to a food processor. Blend until smooth. 

Once cabbage has soaked for 1.5hours, remove from bowl and rinse with cold water three times. Drain well (squeeze off extra water if necessary!) and place back into bowl. Add carrots and spring onions and pour over kimchi seasoning. Massage seasoning into the vegetables - you may want to wear rubber gloves for this part - until everything is well coated. 

Pack kimchi into mason jar ensuring that it's pressed down so the liquid covers the cabbage, leave about an inch of space at the top. Leave the kimchi to ferment for two days on your countertop - you'll want to open the jar once or twice a day to allow it to breathe - we don't want any kimchi explosions happening. That would be bad. Very bad. Once the two days are up, place your kimchi jar into the fridge - this will slow down the fermentation process. Taste each day to decide when your kimchi has fermented to your taste - I left mine in the fridge for a week, so 9 days fermentation in total. 

Once your kimchi is ready enjoy as a side dish or just straight out of the jar as I did! 



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