The average Korean eats 22 kg a year, Health magazine recognized them as one of the healthiest dishes in the world, the history of its production dates back 1000 years, and as if that was not enough, the tradition of its preparation was inscribed on the World Heritage List. Of course, I’m talking about Korean sauerkraut, or kimchi. How to make kimchi?
Kimchi, also known as kimchee or gimchi, are pickled vegetables, supplemented with numerous spices and various additives. According to the original, classic recipe, the basis of kimchi is Chinese cabbage, next to which carrots and leeks appear, as well as garlic and spring onion, which strengthen the taste and sterilize the dish. In turn, the most important thing is the fresh, powdered Korean chili pepper, called gochugaru, thanks to which kimchi acquires spice and maintains freshness. In addition, kimchi may contain ginger, fruit (e.g. apple), nuts, seafood and fish – salty shrimp and anchovies, fresh oysters, pollack, rays and live small shrimps, or even an octopus or squid. There are more than 100 types of kimchi in Korean cuisine.
Health properties and contraindications
Kimchi contains numerous vitamins (especially B vitamins), minerals and fiber, but its most important component is considered useful Lactobacillus bacteria – belonging to the group of lactic acid bacteria. They have a positive effect on health – they support digestion and regulate bowel function. They also inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria, because they produce ‘toxic’ transformation products for other bacteria. They also increase resistance to infections and strengthen the body.
Ingredients for a large jar or plastic container:
- 5 tablespoons of sea salt
- 2-3 liters of water
- 1 kg of Chinese cabbage
Ingredients for kimchi paste:
- ¾ cup water
- 2 tbsp rice flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ¼ of onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of sweet pepper
- 2 tablespoons of hot pepper
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger, optional
- ¼ teaspoon chili, optional
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup chives, cut into thick pieces
- ½ carrots, cut into thin strips
Cut the cabbage lengthwise into four parts, then cut each quarter into small pieces. Transfer the prepared cabbage into a large bowl, pour water with salt, press with a plate laden with a jar and let stand for 60 minutes.
In the meantime, boil water with rice flour and sugar and cook for 1-2 minutes until it turns into a thick rice gruel. Then remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Chop the onion and garlic very finely or spread to a paste in a blender. Then add chopped onion, garlic, soy sauce, pepper and salt to the cooled gruel and mix thoroughly.
When the paste is mixed, add chopped chives and carrots and mix again briefly.
Drain the soaked cabbage, squeeze it very thoroughly and transfer to a large bowl. Add kimchi paste and use a gloved hand to rub the cabbage thoroughly. When the whole is mixed, put it into a container, close the container and leave it on the counter for 2 – 5 days, until it is slightly acidic. Then put it in the fridge and use it when you feel like it.