Valley Bounty: Kimchi

I am far from an authoritative source on kimchi. I didn’t even have a really clear sense of what kimchi was until a few years ago. What I am is a guy who often struggles to eat a whole cabbage before it’s no longer edible, and who has therefore endeavored to expand his stock of cabbage recipes beyond, “I don’t know, put it in a soup I guess.” As such, I feel confident declaring that kimchi is both delicious and easier to make than I thought it would be.

Start by cutting the cabbage into strips, salting it, letting it sit for an hour or two (to draw out moisture), then rinsing. The flavoring paste is made from minced garlic, minced ginger, sugar, fish sauce, and a spicy red pepper powder called gochugaru; take the cabbage and any other winter veggies you’d like to include, like carrots and daikon, and toss with the paste to coat (gloves are recommended, fish sauce is pretty smelly). Pack everything tightly into a jar and add a liquid brine of salt and water until the vegetables are covered, then let it ferment for a week or two. I love it with eggs, in a taco, or on grilled steak or chicken.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)