Saturday, June 20, 2009

Kim Chi Whiz!

In trying to plan this year's food preservation, I marked on the June calendar -- for this weekend, in fact -- "kim chi?" in the hopes that I would find all the ingredients and get started on something I discovered I really liked last year.

As luck would have it, I could not find cabbage at the market, but I had plenty of kohlrabi leaves left in the refrigerator. I'd had some sauteed over pasta a few days ago, so I knew I could enjoy the taste, and since kohlrabi and cabbage are related, it didn't seem too farfetched to give this kim chi variation a try.

I shredded the last of last week's kohlrabi leaves along with a couple CSA carrots and a giant dark red radish from the garden, and I soaked them in a strong brine, pressed under a pile of heavy dishes. They stayed there most of the day, softening and getting pleasantly salty.

By late afternoon, I was ready to pour off the brine (reserving it) and to add a mixture of minced onion, garlic scapes, grated ginger, and dried red pepper flakes. (Only the ginger was not local.)

After mixing it all up, I packed it into a wide-mouthed pint jar, pressing down each addition so that it compacted snugly in the jar and produced some of its own brine. I added another couple spoonfuls of brine, then set a plastic bag full of brine on top of it before adding the lid.

The recipe is a little different from last year's success, since I decided to try the basic recipe from Wild Fermentation, but so far it smells and tastes pretty good. I'll keep an eye on it over the next week, and then I'll set it in the refrigerator and start eating from it.

And maybe in the meantime, I'll start another jar!

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