Prophylactic self-isolation for kimchi preparation. Day 57th.

Rhapsodic kimchi one more way, Rhapsodic kimchi my way:) Kimchi rules!

“What to do with Chinese (Napa) cabbage?”, – Kimchi!!!

P.S. Scroll directly to the ingredient list if you are already boring to read my story:). You can read it (or not) later, but several valuable tips and tricks for kimchi preparation are described here.

During my transition back to Nature, I needed sharp senses in my mouth. For a standard junk-egg-dairy-sugar-flour-food additives-meat-eater, as I was all my life till January 2019, jumping on a plant-based food meant absence of accustomed mind-stirring tastes. I felt a constant demand for sharp feelings on my palate, for passion and battle in my plate. But natural plant-based food provides that peacefulness and stable shape of mind (do not confuse with dull or monotonyJ), which is frightening and unknown for a typical junk-eater.

So, for the transitional stage back to Nature, I was searching for the recipes which provide battle of senses but are not junk-based. One of them is kimchi. When I ate it, made accordingly to this recipe (because the recipes of kimchi could be absolutely different in taste), with full-grain rice and Nori sheets – I felt that good, mind blowing and sharply satisfied. It was a real finding for junkly-disturbed body, searching for self-salvation.

I need to say, there are onions and garlic in this recipe, but during fermentation process (you should keep prepared kimchi mixture for at least 2 weeks in a refrigerator, better for a month), the tastes of onion and garlic changes. I like this kimchi, despite the fact that I am not a garlic eater, especially if garlic is raw and uncooked!

Many thanks for the Korean lady, Maangchi, who introduced this recipe on internet for all the World.

Chinese (Napa) cabbage. Brassica rapa pekinensis. Photo by the blog ‘s author

I have made few changes in the ingredient list and the amount of the ingredients, mainly: reduce the amount of garlic, increase the amount of ginger, replace half amount of leek with parsley root, and minimize the amount of hot red pepper flakes. I made my own rice flour, because I could not find it in my grocery stores. If you will be as lucky as me – buy sushi rice and mill it thoroughly in a coffee mill – your rice flour will be ready. Be sure to use SUSHI rice, because only this type of rice gives appropriate stickiness for rice paste (the important step in a kimchi preparation). In her original recipe, Maangchi uses 10 lbs (which is 4.5 kg) of Napa cabbage – that was too much for me, so I made my calculations for 1.5 kg of Napa cabbage. You can reduce the amount even more, just doing the thing from veggie scratch and put it into 0.5-1.0 liter glass container to try if you like it or not (after fermentation is finished, of course!:)).

The amount of the ingredients in this recipe is given for already peeled vegetables. As the original recipe by Maangchi is presented in pounds and cups, I decided to recalculate it to grams and kilograms, so you could use any suitable version for yourself.

Ingredients for 3 liter glass storage container:

  • Chinese (or Napa) cabbage, 1.5 kg
  • Salt, 85 g. Use crystalline sea salt, rock salt or pickling salt. Avoid finely milled table salt or iodized salt, because they could contain chemical additives or discolor the fermented (or pickled) food
  • Purified (filtered) water, 200 g
  • Rice flour (could be made from sushi rice by milling in coffee mill), 30 g
  • Sugar, 25 g
  • Garlic, 70-75 g (approximately 1 full head)
  • Onion, 120 g (approximately 1 big head)
  • Fish sauce, 70 g
  • Hot red pepper flakes (flakes!), 4 Tbsp
  • Ginger root, fresh, 10 g
  • Vegetable mix (carrot, daikon radish, leek, parsley root, ping pong radish, scallions), 650 g

How to make it:

Watch the epic video by Maangchi, because nobody would describe better than she does! The link to the original recipe you could find here: https://www.maangchi.com/recipe/easy-kimchi. I would only provide some photos of my own kimchi preparation, made according to Maangchi recommendations.

Important notes:

  • Exterior cabbage leaves should be removed to limit the contamination by undesirable microorganisms, these exterior leaves are very welcome for the Bokashi compost
  • Cabbage core contains sucrose and therefore unfits fermentation process – it is welcomed to the Bokashi compost too!
  • There is a dose of scientific literature available, describing the kimchi fermentation process, its quality improvement and benefits to human health.
  • Kimchi is considered matured as well when it is fermented for 3 weeks at 4 °C or 4 days at 15 °C Designated as “one of the five healthiest foods in the world, exploiting the health benefits of kimchi has become a special challenge for present-day research” (1)
  • According to literature, first, the Chinese cabbage and other vegetables (especially radish, cucumber and/or scallions) are salted in order to reduce water activity. In a second step, the salted vegetables are washed with fresh water, drained and then mixed with the desired spices, especially with chili or hot pepper, ginger and other edible Allium species (such as garlic) and horseradish (1)
  • “Anti-obesity and anti-hypertension properties have been reported for kimchi and other pickled vegetables” (2)
  • write a label with the name “Kimchi” and a day when fermentation has started, for example “2020 05 05”. By this, you could assume when kimchi should be ready. Labels are always important
  • If well-done, kimchi shelf life is typically between 6 and 12 months
  • Lactic acid bacteria is found on cabbage leaves naturally and during fermentation of kimchi it grows
Preparing kimchi. Blog author’s photos

References:

  1. Quality improvement and fermentation control in vegetables by H.J. Buckenhueskes, 2015
  2. Microbial Ecology of Fermented Vegetables and Non-Alcoholic Drinks and Current Knowledge on Their Impact on Human Health by Laura Lavefve, Daya Marasini and Franck Carbonero, 2019

P.S. Warm thanks to a special friend for editing

Photos by Dr. A. Palatronis on www.z-antenna.com

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