The Art of Fermentation: Sauerkraut & Kim-Chi

Last week I attended an All About Fermenting class where I learned about the health benefits of fermentation plus how to make sauerkraut, kim-chi, kombucha, and water kefir from Adrienne Cox of Non Toxic U, a fellow Mountain School mom who offers classes teaching you how to remove toxic chemicals from your home, one product at a time. She offers many different types of classes, as you can see on her website, and the one I attended focused mostly on Sauerkraut and Kim-Chi.

Look at these beautiful bottles of fermented yumminess! I recently read that red cabbage is also an amazing cancer fighting vegetable from the cruciferous family.

sauerkrautandkimchi

Photo on Left: Kim-Chi / Photo on Right: Sauerkraut

Last night we opened our bottles after patiently waiting for them to mature after five long days. I had to eliminate any gas bubbles from the jars three times a day, so they really did become my babies! When I opened them up, my husband looked at me oddly and said, “That’s gross, they’ve been on the counter all week.” Then, he tried it. WOW, he was in love! I personally have never been a fan of commercial Kim-Chi, and I made my husband stop buying it years ago. Well, this batch significantly changed things because we consumed half the jar of Kim-Chi over our rice and lentil dinner last night, and I realized I need to start making a new batch ASAP so it’s ready as soon as we’re out. The only change I would make is to add more heat to the batch because he likes his garnishes super spicy.

Are you dying to try them? Here are the two recipes I used, so you can get started making your own batches — thanks again to Adrienne for sharing the recipes and the class! I can’t wait for her upcoming Kombucha & Water Kefir classes!

Sauerkraut:

1 sead of green or red cabbage

1 1/2 Tbsp. salt (sea salt or kosher only)

1 qt. mason jar w/lid, cleaned

Optional Ingredients:

– Vegetables/fruits: onion, garlic, broccoli, radish, fennel, apple, beets, jicama, turnips, Brussels sprouts, fresh ginger, etc.

– Spices: Caraway seed, fennel seed, anise seed, dried onion, dried garlic, cayenne pepper, etc.

Directions:

  1. Core and slice the head of cabbage into uniform bite sized pieces and place into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Wash and slice all other optional ingredients into uniform bite sized pieces and add to bowl.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pound or massage for 5-10 minutes until a fair amount of liquid has been released from the cabbage. As Adrienne said, “Put your back into it!” Use all your strength to get the liquid released!
  4. Pack the cabbage into a jar, pressing and compacting it along the way, until it reaches the base of the collar. Make sure to leave some headspace between the collar and the top. If there is not enough liquid to cover cabbage mixture, you can top it off off with a 2% salt water solution.
  5. Loosely close the lid (stop turning the lid as soon as you start to feel tension).
  6. Keep the jar at room temperature and out of direct sunlight for 3-5 days, pressing the gas out of the kraut 3 times each day, or until it reaches desired flavor (i.e. longer than 5 days if desired).

 

Kimchi-ish:

1 Head of napa or savoy cabbage (note: savoy cabbage runs on the small side so maybe use two depending on how much you want to make)

3-5 garlic cloves, pressed

1 Medium daikon radish, grated

1 Large carrot, grated

2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated

5 green onions, sliced

1 ½ Tbsp. salt (sea salt or kosher only)

1 Tbsp. Gochugaru (Korean red chili powder)

1 Tbsp. fish sauce (omit if making vegan)

1 Tsp. toasted sesame oil

1 Clean Qt. Mason Jar w/lid

Directions:

  1. Core and slice the cabbage into uniform bite sized pieces and place into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the garlic, radish, carrot, ginger, and green onions to the bowl.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pound or massage for 5-10 minutes until a fair amount of liquid has been released from the cabbage. As Adrienne said, “Put your back into it!” Use all your strength to get the liquid released!
  4. Pack the cabbage into a jar, pressing and compacting it along the way, until it reaches the base of the collar. Make sure to leave some headspace between the collar and the top. If there is not enough liquid to cover cabbage mixture, you can top it off off with a 2% salt water solution.
  5. Loosely close the lid (stop turning the lid as soon as you start to feel tension).
  6. Keep the jar at room temperature and out of direct sunlight for 3-5 days, pressing the gas out of the kraut 3 times each day, or until it reaches desired flavor (i.e. longer than 5 days if desired).

Post pictures of your ‘kraut and kim-chi and tell me how it turned out!

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