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Jars of kimchi, pickles and chutney

Self preservation

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Fermentation is one way to make your winter harvest last. Try this recipe and make a supply of kimchi to add to your pantry.

2 large wombok cabbages
1 cup salt
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup caster sugar
2cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
10 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/2 Daikon radish, peeled & grated (about 2 cups)
12 green onions, trimmed and cut into 4cm lengths
100g Korean red chilli powder (gochugaru, available in Asian supermarkets) 

Remove the outer leaves from the womboks, quarter each one lengthwise, remove and discard the cores. Slice each quarter crossways into 5cm slices and add to a sink full of cold water and leave to soak for 15 minutes. This helps to remove any remaining dirt.

Drain the cabbage and in large bowls, layer cabbage with salt and allow to stand for an hour. Using your hands, toss the cabbage a few times and leave for another hour. Fill the sink with clean cold water and add the cabbage to rinse off all the salt. Then drain well.

Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan with 1 cup water and whisk in the rice flour. Bring the rice flour mixture to a simmer and whisk constantly until it thickens, about 3–4 minutes.
Add the sugar and cook for a further minute. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool completely.

In a blender puree ginger, garlic and onion until smooth. Add the fish sauce and mix to combine and place into a large bowl along with the rice flour mixture, Daikon, green onions, Korean red chilli powder and mix well. Add the cabbage and wearing food-grade gloves, use your hands to coat the cabbage with the mixture (don’t use bare hands as the chilli powder could burn your skin and you may be left with a strong fishy, garlic odour on your hands. You can combine the cabbage mixture with a spoon but using your hands gives you the best results.)

Transfer the cabbage mixture to 6 x 500ml sterilised glass jars, packing the cabbage in tightly to help remove as much air as possible. Leave a 2cm gap at the top of the jar and seal tightly with a lid. Stand jars at room temperature for four days and listen, watch and smell the magic of fermentation. Make sure they’re in a well-ventilated area as the odour can be quite strong. Also, don’t be alarmed when the mix starts to bubble away and seeps from under the lid, it’s part of the process. Give the jars a wipe, open the lids and gently press the produce back down into the liquid.

After the four days, label and date jars and transfer to the fridge for up to 6 months. After each use press down the kimchi to keep removing as much air as possible. 


You’ll find more recipes here or you can subscribe to  ABC Organic Gardener magazine and get more growing ideas and practical solutions for a greener life!

OG 141 cover_Helen McKerral