Saturday, February 19, 2011

turnip kimchi

Yesterday I started the process of making the turnip kimchi. I let the thinly sliced turnips and daikons soak overnight in a brine with about 3 tbsp. salt in 4 cups of water. Today I finished it up and put it in the crock to begin fermenting. I will check it in about a week. We have some guests coming for dinner on Friday so I might check it then and let them sample it. Here is the process (again, based on the recipe in Wild Fermentation):

Dice an onion or a few scallions or shallots (I used an onion because that is what I had on hand), grate about 3 Tbsp of fresh ginger, and put about 6 garlic cloves through a press. Put all this in a big bowl and add a bunch of red pepper flakes--I probably used about 2 Tbsp. You can also use fresh chilies. Experiment with the seasoning and adjust to your tastes. Drain the soaking vegetables, but save the brine. Taste the vegetables to see if there is enough salt. It should taste pretty salty; add more if needed. Mix the drained veggies with the onion-chili-garlic-ginger mixture and pack tightly into a crock. Press down (I use a potato masher) until juices rise above the veggies. Add some of the reserved brine if necessary. Weigh down--I use a liter-sized mason jar filled with water--and cover with a towel. I also usually put the crock inside another dish to catch any runoff brine. Now I just need to wait a week or so and taste it. I have a good feeling about it. I was a little nervous about the turnips, but I really think the onion-ginger-garlic-chili combination would make most things taste good.

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