Kimchi has fast become one of those foods we have adopted into our culinary vocabulary.
I knew of it before I ever tasted it, let alone made it and really I can say that this was a life ‘before kimchi’. Now over the threshold, Life is remarkably enhanced ‘after kimchi’
Kimchi is a Korean dish of spicy fermented cabbage, an asian sauerkraut as another comparison. So highly regarded is its culinary status that it is a national heritage food celebrated with festivals and museums in its honour.
So what is all the fuss?
It has to be the complete taste sensation of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami which make this a pleasant encounter coupled with the massive health benefits of a fermented food.
There is a probiotic load which exceeds any pharmaceutical offering and a nutritional hike up which takes the humble ingredients and supercharges them with more vitamins, amino acids and enzymes post-fermentation.
All this means digestive ease to you, a neat little adjustment of intestinal flora in favour of the good guys all the while nudging you into a happier place of less sugar cravings, less bloat, more nutrition per serving and super healthy food at relatively low cost.
What is best about Kimchi is you can throw it at anything. Whilst the traditioanl recipes uses chinese cabbage, we can ‘kimchify’ (my word) anything really. Think cucumber, carrot, Brussel sprouts, tomato, turnip, kohlrabi, radish, beetroot, courgettes, it is an allotment owners dream.
Not only that, but bar eating it straight out of the jar, you can serve it up with a host of many different things.
Kimchi pancakes, kimchi pizza, Kimchi rice, Kimchi stew, kimchi soup, kimchi frittata, kimchi sprinkle, kimchi butter, oh there is just so much you can do.
This is fast food the Slow food way!
I cannot wait to get some kimchi into you at The Savour Kilkenny festival, Bank Holiday weekend
Dearbhla Reynolds from The Cultured Club will feature Kimchi recipes from her first book Fabulously Funky Fermentation Recipes on
Where: The Food Stage
Recipe excerpt from The Cultured Club Fabulously Funky Fermentation Recipe book available now.
Brussel sprout kimchi
880g Brussel Sprouts
1 litre filtered water
3 tbsp sea salt
4 spring onions, cut into 1.25cm pieces
FOR THE PASTE:
4–6 garlic cloves, peeled
5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1–5 tbsp Korean red pepper powder (gochugaru), depending on the desired level of heat
1 tbsp fish sauce (or kelp powder for a vegan option)
1 Peel the outer layer of your sprout and deeply cut an X at the bottom. This will expose a little more surface area for fermentation. Dissolve the salt into the water in a large bowl and add the brussel sprouts to the brine. Leave to soak for up to six hours.
2 Drain the sprouts in a colander, reserving 400ml of the brine when draining. Place the sprouts in a large mixing bowl with the spring onions.
3 Blend the garlic, ginger, red pepper powder and fish sauce together in a blender or food processor until it forms a paste. Mix in with the sprouts and spring onions until the vegetables are nicely coated with the paste.
4 Pack the kimchi veg mix tightly into a jar and top up with brine if necessary, submerging the contents with a weight for successful fermentation.
*Note that the sprouts will take at least three-four weeks to ferment because of the chunkier cut than other kimchi creations. If you wish for a faster ferment, then thinly slice your sprouts before mixing with the kimchi paste. The more surface area you present for fermentation, the faster it will happen.