Sunday, June 20, 2010

First CSA recipe: Kimchi

Three weeks into the CSA I'm eating A LOT of green salad and I'm finding myself with interesting assortments of vegetables. There are good recipes on the CSA website but I find them frustrating as each only uses 1 weekly vegetable and then lots of other things, things I don't consider staples. I want to use as much of what I already have and buy as little additionally as possible.

So I'm making my own recipes.

I found myself with several bunches of bok choi, several garlic scapes, and two kholrabi bulbs. I ate some bok choi steamed and served with chili oil and sea salt which was quite tasty. And I've been putting garlic scapes into everything I cook instead of garlic and sometimes instead of onion. I've chopped kholrabi into my salads. But I found myself still left with plenty of kholrabi, several bok choi and scapes... and a new week of vegetables!

So I made kimchi to extend the life span and create a ready to eat dish. I searched several recipes and comparing them, came up with my own that followed the basic premise of all the recipes I read but that utilized the ingredients I had on had. I figured kholrabi is in the cabage family so it should work since all the recipes called for bok choi and/or Korean cabbage. And all the recipes called for either garlic, scallions or both; I figured scapes are basically a cross between the two so I'd just use those.

It took me 3 days to make but was very minimal effort each day. I started on a Tuesday evening. I chopped the vegetables and wraped them in a damp linen towel, placed them in a bowl and put them in the fridge. I made the salt water in a mason jar. That was it.

The next morning I removed the towel leaving the veggies in the bowl. I poured the salt water over them and weighed them down with a plate, held down with the mason jar, now filled with water.

When I got home from work Wednesday I drained, rinsed and set the veggies re-soaking in fresh water while I made the brine. I poured out the water and stuffed the vegetables into the mason jar and added the brine. I let it sit on my kitchen counter.

Thursday when I got home from work it was ready.


5 bunches bok choi, quartered lengthwise
1/2 kholrabi, cut into strips
2 garlic scapes, slivered
5 tbsp good salt
1 hot pepper, chopped
2 inches fresh ginger, chopped
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar

Mix 4 tbsp salt w/4 cups of water and soak the bok choi, kholrabi & garlic scapes for about 8-10 hours.
Drain & soak in fresh water about 10 minutes.
To make the brine, mix the pepper, ginger, sauces, sugar & 1 tbsp salt with about 2 cups of water.
Drain the soaking veggies and stuff them in a jar, then pour in the brine and close tightly.
Let sit at room temp for 24 hours.

You now have kimchi. I recommend opening it in the sink - its fermented while sitting there and kinda pops like a soda. Once you open it, it will last 1 month in the fridge.

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