Kimchi is a traditional Korean spicy side dish made from fermenting vegetables, most commonly cabbage but sometimes other vegetables. Kimchi is seasoned with ingredients such as garlic, ginger, spring onions, chilli flakes and salt.
Kimchi made from cabbage is high in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, vitamin A, C, calcium, folate (vitamin B9) and riboflabin (vitamin B2). Kimchi is rich in the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) Lactobacillus and other bacteria that may be beneficial to digestive health.
About Cultured (Fermented) Vegetables
Cultured (fermented) vegetables contain large colonies of probiotic organisms. Lactobacillus plantarum is abundant on raw vegetables and when appropriately fermented they produce generous amounts of Lactobacilli and other probiotic organisms. Some vitamins increase during fermentation.
Fermenting foods modify the structures of proteins and carbohydrates, and lower the PH of the food. The fermentation process “pre-digests” the vegetables and makes them easier to absorb. Secondly, fermented veggies contain probiotic microorganisms that help heal the gastrointestinal tract (gut).
How To Make Kimchi
Ingredients (Serves 8)
4 cups Green Cabbage (tightly packed)
6 stalks Green Onion (diced)
1 Carrot (large, grated)
1 cup Radishes (grated)
4 Garlic (cloves, minced)
3 tbsps Ginger (peeled and grated)
1 tbsp Sea Salt
1 tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
Core and finely slice your cabbage. Place in a mixing bowl with all ingredients. With clean hands, massage the salt into the cabbage and vegetables until it starts to soften (5 to 10 minutes). Set aside to rest for 10 minutes then massage again for a further 5 minutes.
Transfer the kimchi into sterilised jars, leaving an inch of space at the top. Pack it down into the jar until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Seal the jars with sterilised lids.
Let it ferment at room temperature for 3 to 5 days. It may bubble and that is normal. Check on your kimchi everyday and re submerge the vegetables under the brine if they rise.
Taste your kimchi on day 3. If it tastes ripe, transfer it to the fridge. If not, let it ferment another day or two.
Enjoy kimchi right away or let it sit for another week or two for extra flavour. Enjoy!
Simply add a spoonful (or two) to your lunch and/or dinner to maintain a healthy gut. Remember when you feed yourself, feed your gut microbiome with the nutrients it needs!