I am looking for a 12 step program for my new Kimchi addiction! I’ve been eating it with absolutely everything. The first step is admitting you have a problem…
Here is the recipe for Becky’s Killer Kimchi.
Makes about 8 pounds (3.6 kg) of Kimchi
For salting cabbage:
6 pounds napa cabbage (3 to 4 heads of medium napa cabbage)
1/2 cup Kosher salt
For making porridge:
2 cups water
2 tablespoons sweet rice flour (glutinous rice flour) regular flour is fine too
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (brown or white sugar)
2 cups radish matchsticks
1 cup carrot matchsticks
7 to 8 green onions, chopped
1 cup chopped Asian chives (buchu), optional (substitute with 3 green onions, chopped)
1 cup water dropwort (minari), optional (Becky didn’t use this)
Seasonings and spices:
1/2 cup garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
1 medium onion, minced
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup fermented salted shrimp (saeujeot) with the salty brine, chopped ( Becky didn’t use this)
2 cups hot pepper flakes (gochugaru) ( This is Korean red pepper powder)
Chop cabbage into small pieces, rinse in a large basin of water, and sprinkle with salt:
Let the cabbages rest for 2 hours. Turn over every 30 minutes, so they get well salted. From time to time you can ladle some of the salty water from the bottom of the basin over top of the cabbages if you want to.
After 2 hours, wash the cabbage a few times under cold running water. Giving them a good washing, to remove the salt and any dirt. Place in a strainer over a basin so they can drain well.
While the cabbage is salting for 2 hours, and in between the times you’re turning it over, you can make the porridge:
Combine the water and the sweet rice flour in a small pot. Mix well with a wooden spoon and let it cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until it starts to bubble. Add the sugar and cook 1 more minute, stirring. Remove from the heat and let it cool off completely.
Place garlic, ginger, and onion in a large mixing bowl. Add fish sauce, fermented salted shrimp, and hot pepper powder. Mix well with the wooden spoon until the mixture turns into a thin paste.
Add the radish, carrot, and green onion, plus the Asian chives (or more green onions) and the water dropwort if you’re using them. Mix well. Add cooled off porridge and mix well.
Spread kimchi paste on the cabbage so that it’s evenly distributed. When it is all covered with paste put into your jar or plastic container.
Eat right away, or let it sit at room temperature for a few days to ferment.
The kimchi will start fermenting a day or two at room temperature, depending on the temperature and humidity of your room. The warmer and more humid it is, the faster the kimchi will ferment. Once it starts to ferment it will smell and taste sour, and pressing on the top of the kimchi with a spoon will release bubbles from beneath.
Once it starts to ferment, store in the refrigerator to use as needed. Storing in the fridge slows down the fermentation process, which will make the kimchi more and more sour as time goes on.
Stan (and Becky!)
You say Kah-Fear…..I say Kef-her…..or, is it Key-fer?
Adventures in Kefir making!
Normally going to a stranger’s house to pick up a small ziplock bag of anything would be out of the question. But that’s what we did. Becky arranged everything about the deal online. My only contribution was to say “There’s no way in hell that you are going to a stranger’s house by yourself… I’ll drive!”
A few minutes later, a token amount of cash exchanged for a plastic baggie, we head straight home. “Let me see it, let me see it”I say. “Why do they call it kefir ‘grains’?”
And so it began….
Jump forward a few batches, a bit of uncertainty, and we think we got it all sorted out.
Kefir is fermented milk which is full of beneficial bacteria and yeast. It tastes similar to yogurt, but usually more tangy. It’s probiotic nature helps to maintain a healthy immune system and well-functioning digestive system. Kefir contains a higher amount of beneficial bacteria and yeasts than most yogurts. It’s also much easier to make.
They call it ‘grains’ because of the way they look.
It’s a SCOBY. This stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.
When added to milk, kefir grains feed on the lactose in the milk. The lactose provides nourishment and allows the grains to grow and multiply.
Some people will give away their excess grains to strangers. Becky found several sources of free Kefir grains, but with an 8 week waiting period. Becky, not one who likes to wait, found another source for $5.
Here is where she found it.
How to Make Milk Kefir
Step 1 – use 1 tablespoon kefir grains for each glass of milk
Step 2 – place in a mason jar with a cloth over the opening, or if using the lid, don’t tighten it as the kefir needs to breath.
Step 3 – let ferment for approximately 24hours if your home temperature is 20 degrees Celsius or higher. It will depend on the temperature of your home, our house is cooler and we fermented the milk for 36 hours. This is where some of our initial uncertainty resulted in unsuccessful attempts.
Step 4 – strain the grains out of your milk and place in another jar with some fresh milk to keep it alive. Place in the fridge until you are ready to make your next batch. Start using your kefir milk.
Avoid using metal utensils. Try to purchase a plastic strainer (yes, our picture above is with a metal strainer, but it has since been replaced)