Kimchi (fermented chilli cabbage)
( MAKES 5 cups )
Photo by Tamara West
Kimchi is a Korean food staple. It’s pretty much the Asian version of sauerkraut (a fermented cabbage dish from Germany). They eat it almost every day as an accompaniment to their meals. It has a reputation for being one of those polarising foods that people either love or hate. I’m on the love it team — I can’t get enough of it when I eat bulgogi (Korean barbequed beef) or bibimbap (a rice bowl with marinated beef mince and vegetables).
- Chop cabbage, removing any tough bulky parts of the stalk. Place in a large container or dish with the brine and leave to soak for about 2 hours or until the cabbage leaves are limp.
- Mix grated apple, lemon juice, ginger, garlic and chilli paste together.
- Drain cabbage and rinse under clean water a few times. Toss with onion, spring onion and apple chilli paste. Place in a large plastic container (or a large bowl) and loosely cover (leave a little space open for the gas that the bacteria form during fermentation to escape). Leave on the bench, at room temperature for at least 6-8 hours or overnight to ferment.
- Season well with salt and sesame oil, to taste. Store in a container in the fridge. It will keep for a few weeks.