Fermenting isn’t Rocket Science!!!



I’ve always been just a little bit of a rebel… Well, when it comes to cooking anyways!! I never measure Anything… Following recipes is just not something I do, despite an extensive collection of cookbooks!! I believe that recipes are just for inspiration… Now last year when I began to dabble more seriously into fermentation the whole process seemed so regimented and maybe a little overwhelming… Friends were afraid to jump in just in case they did “something wrong”.  I think preparing food should be enjoyable, Not stressful!! After all, people all over the world have been successfully fermenting food for hundreds of years… It’s not rocket science!!! If you have salt and water, and some nice produce.. you can create a ferment!!

Learning the basics is pretty easy… Figuring out the salt/water/veggie ratio is fairly straight forward… Figuring out how long to ferment and how to package the veggies for their journey into fermentation land is also simple!! I think it still may be too scientific or awe-inspiring for some people… Following recipes for Sauerkraut or Kombucha is the safe way to do things!!

But… The magic comes into play when your imagination takes over and you shrug off the rules!!!  You are a creative being, with special tastes and preferences all your own!! Just because the recipe says to grate the cabbage… and you prefer some crunch to your ferments.. Chop it up instead!!!   After years of making plain sauerkraut.. and liking it… I started experimenting!!!  Korean Kimchi, Salvadorean Curtido Yum!!!

But… That wasn’t quite enough for me!! I happened to be going through a phase where everything I cooked had Turmeric, hot curry powder, Nigella Sativa seeds and other Indian spices.. So, I invented CurryKraut!!!   Then I went though a Thai curry phase.. So I made a yellow Thai Currykraut!!! It’s so much better when you custom create a ferment with spices that you and your family are partial to!!

All this experiencing has given me a great passion for Kimchi, and for the Gochujang chili sauce favored by Korean chefs… Last night I was really in the Kimchi making mood.. I had none of the napa cabbage or baby bok choy that I usually use!!   So I used what I had!!! Thinking outside the box Rocks!!!



Use What You Have Kimchi
3 heads of green cabbage (yes I know you don’t use it in kimchi!!)
2 cups grated carrots
1 large Daikon – sliced in rounds
2 T grated ginger
2 T grated garlic
2 T lime juice
2 T Nuoc Pham
4 T Gochujang pepper paste
3 T salt
Coarsely chop cabbage and sprinkle with salt.. Massage well.. If you’re stressed, by all means smack it around with a kraut pounder (but the salt will do the trick by itself) Let it sit for a few hours, massaging it every once in awhile… After a few hours it will have exuded some liquid… Add all the rest of the ingredients!!  At this point don some gloves, because this stuff will Burn!!!~  Press it into three 1/2 gallon mason jars.. pour the residual liquid into each jar…  If the liquid doesn’t cover the cabbage, simply make a brine of 1 T salt to 2 cups of water and pout over kimchi… Weight down… (I use ziplock bags filled with more brine to push mine down!! You may use cabbage leaves, small jars or bowls, or whatever else works for you!!)
Close it up (I use the plastic replacement lids) and place your jars in a dish tub.. cover with a dishtowel and put away for at least a month!!

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