It seems that food is suddenly a major thing in my life. Of course we all know that it is essential for life. I love a variety of foods from many cultures. However, I am also a rather picky eater. Yes, that is a paradox – as am I.
Today's adventure started a couple of days ago. Ideas were flowing and I had some email conversations with a friend. I have ordered a tsukemono vegetable press (also called a pickle press.) Making tsukemono is a salt pickling process although there are also rice bran and miso fermented recipes.
Meanwhile, there is a wonderful memory of kimchi in my mind. Kimchi is a traditional Korean fermented vegetable dish. It is most commonly made with Napa cabbage and daikon radish. While the Napa cabbage is more available in Alabama, the daikon radish is more difficult to find. So I was looking for options. A quick search on Google gave me lots of ideas. I had a red cabbage in the refrigerator so I could use that. I bought some simple red radishes and some zucchini. One of the local Asian food stores had the red pepper – gochugaru. Surprise, I already had fish sauce in my pantry as I had bought it for some other recipe.
The recipe I used as a base recipe is called "Emergency Kimchi" She used green cabbage but I had the red cabbage so I substituted it. She called for carrots in her recipe, but I used all I had yesterday making carrot pickles much like the red onion pickles. I did have the radishes and zucchini though. So I added them (probably in greater quantity) in place of the carrots. I also had green onions and I used more than she said to use. (I like onions!) The recipe did not call for ginger, but many kimchi recipes have it so I grabbed the ginger root from the freezer and finely grated some in the kimchi paste while the cabbage was still soaking. I also used all the minced garlic I had on hand (add that to the grocery list) so I used some dried garlic with it. Right now it it is two widemouth quart jars, loosely capped, in the laundry room (a dark cool place) fermenting. I put the jars in an old loaf pan in case it overflows a bit.
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