I remember eating kimchi at some Chinese food restaurants in Delhi. At that time the excitement of “catching” a piece of spicy cabbage with my chopsticks was all I was interested in! As I got older, traveled, got curious about food, ate varied cuisines, my palate developed and I started paying attention to what I was eating, ingredients, flavors.
Kimchi came off and on in my meals, but it was always store-bought. Nothing wrong with that, till I discovered how easy it is to make it at home. For that, I have to thank Christine at Yommme. Her fabulous posts on Instagram really fascinated me and I just had to make some. I’m very glad I did. We are unequivocally in love with this piquant dish!
Fermented foods are all over the food map these days and for a good reason. They are full of probiotics ( good gut bacteria) that boost your immune system, aid digestive health and promote overall wellness. In India, fermented foods have been an integral part of our daily diet- a bowl or two of homemade yogurt, kanji in winters and chaas in summers, idlis, dosas, dhokla are all made with fermented batters, seasonal pickles and many more I’m sure.
Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean side dish made with typically napa cabbage, radish and cucumbers, flavoured with garlic, ginger, Korean red pepper powder ( gochugaru). It’s really easy to put together and is fantastic to jazz up any type of food – rice, eggs, meat, tofu, noodles, bread..the choices are unlimited.
I made a few changes to the original recipe, which you can find here. I worked with what I had on hand; regular cabbage instead of napa, Kashmiri degi mirch instead of gochugaru, red radish instead of daikon. After a day’s wait, we got a punchy, feisty, spicy, very addictive Kimchi which we are all enjoying tremendously.
So if you’re looking to kick up your meals with something fiery, yet full of healthy goodness, do give this a try – you won’t be sorry, I promise!
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- 500 gms Cabbage Cut into bite sized pcs
- 8-10 Red radish Thinly sliced
- 2 Cucumbers Peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup Salt
- 2 Carrots Julienned
- 10-15 Garlic cloves Roughly chopped
- 2" pc Ginger Peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup Degi Mirch I used slightly less
- 2 Tbsp White sesame seeds
- 1 Tbsp Brown sugar
- 1/3 cup Rice vinegar
- Place the cabbage, red radish and cucumber into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle evenly with salt and rub it thoroughly into every surface of the leaves and vegetables. Let sit for 1 hour.
- Blend together the vinegar, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, chilli powder and brown sugar to make a thick paste.
- Rinse the salted vegetables with cold water and drain well. lay them out on a large tray lined with a clean dish towel and let them dry for 30-40 minutes.
- Add the carrots and the paste. Massage the paste evenly.
- Transfer into a clean jar and press down the vegetables tightly. Pack in as much as you can. Clean the rim of the jar, close the lid tightly.
- Let sit on the counter overnight. Store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!!