If you love fermented foods then try making your own Kimchi. Kimchi is a fabulous Korean dish consisting of fermented chilli peppers and vegetables (usually cabbage). It is delicious as an accompaniment to meats and fish, or as a topping for salads. Fermented foods should really be an integral part of your diet. Providing the body with a range of probiotic bacteria they support digestive health and immune function. Fermented foods are also easily digested and the nutrients are often better absorbed by the body than just eating raw veggies.

One important secret to making cultured veggies is to use organic, well-cleaned vegetables. You also need to make sure your equipment is clean. I use glass kilner jars which I sterilise in the dishwasher before using.
Depending on the temperature you will need to leave your veggies for 3-4 days at least but 1 week is probably better. Once fermented store in the fridge.
Kimchi

Overview

Difficulty – Easy

Time – 15 minutes plus fermentation time

Serves – 8


What’s good about it?

Fermented foods like Kimchi are packed with beneficial microbes to support gut health and immune function. This spicy dish is also a great way to stimulate digestive secretions aiding digestion of foods. Try including it alongside your main meal.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the cabbage and radish with the spices in a large bowl.
  2. Dissolve the salt and sugar in the water. Pour over the vegetables and mix well.
  3. Pack the vegetables and liquid in a glass kilner jar pressing down so that the vegetables are immersed in the liquid. Leave enough room – around 2 inches at the top for the vegetables to expand
  4. You can roll up some cabbage leaves into little logs and pack on top
  5. Clamp the jar closed
  6. Leave in a warm place to ferment, around 70F for 3-4 days or 1 week
  7. Refrigerate once ready

Did you Know?

Kimchi is made by lacto-fermentation, the same process that creates sauerkraut and traditional dill pickles. In the first stage, the cabbage is soaked in a salty brine that kills off harmful bacteria. In the second stage, the remaining Lactobacillus bacteria (the good guys!) convert sugars into lactic acid, which preserves the vegetables and gives them that wonderful, tangy flavour

INGREDIENTS

1 napa or Chinese cabbage, cut into chunks

1⁄2 daikon radish, peeled and cut into chunks

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbsp fresh grated ginger

1 tbsp Korean chilli powder or flakes

1 tbsp coconut sugar, optional

1–2 tbsp sea salt

125ml/4fl oz water