Being mostly German, liking fermented cabbage is kind of in my blood. But I also like spicy things because being white, stealing things from other cultures is also in my blood. Kimchi is a nice intersection between both of these blood-borne traits.
I have no idea how authentic this is since I’m super white (see above) but I based this on a recipe I found here. Here’s my version:
- 1 head Napa cabbage
- 1 cup (201 grams) salt (I mix sea and kosher)
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) fish sauce
- 5 scallions
- 1/2 an onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 small daikon
- 1 small carrot
- 2 Tbsp (25 grams) white sugar
- 1 tsp (5 grams) ginger
- 5 Tbsp (75 ml) sriracha (I also add some hot sauce, like Trinidad Scorpion, to spice it up more)
Cut out the stem from the cabbages.. Uh… Butthole. Then cut the head into quarters, then coarsely chop them into chunks, maybe an inch (2.5 cm) or so. It’s “rustic” though so don’t kill yourself. In a mixing bowl, add the cabbage then pour the salt over it and toss it until the leaves are evenly covered, then leave it covered to sit for 6 hours or overnight.
They next day, the cabbage will be pretty desiccated. Pour out the water, then grab handfuls of the cabbage, rinse it, and then squeeze out the water like you would a sock if you were too lazy go to a laundromat and the washer and dryer are broken.
Chop the daikon and carrot into thin sticks maybe 2 inches (5 cm) long. Cut the scallions to the same length and add all of them to the cabbage. Chop the . Add the rest of the ingredients and mix the whole thing together by hand. You could use a spoon, but what’s the fun of cooking if you’re not getting dirty and discovering paper cuts you didn’t know you had because hot sauce got in them?
Now, put the whole mixed mess in a well-sealed container (I prefer to use Mason jars and use the traditional canning process because it lasts longer) and stick it somewhere dark, dry and cool for at least a week. It will ferment and become pungent and even spicier.
Congratulations, you just used bacteria to turn vegetables into more awesome vegetables that have been predigested to a degree for you.