“Kimchi is one of my favourite things to have on the side of a meal (I also love it on grilled cheese toasties). This recipe makes a much larger batch than the other fermented recipes because once you try it, you won’t be able to stop eating it.”.
Use a 2 litre (70 fl OZ/8 cup) jar
1 large Chinese cabbage (wong bok)
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon raw (demerara) sugar
10 spring onions (scallions)
2 carrots, thinly shredded or coarsely grated
2 apples, grated
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 cm (2 inch) piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 teaspoons Fermented Chilli Paste* (recipe below)
* I use my own fermented chilli paste in this kimchi, but you can use a store-bought version if you like.
1 Peel back the outer leaves of the cabbage and set these aside for later use. Split the cabbage lengthways, remove the base and cut crossways into slices about 1 cm (½ inch) thick.
2 Put the cabbage into a mixing bowl and add the salt and sugar. Roughly bruise the cabbage by mixing and squeezing with your hands, then leave it to sit.
3 Cut the spring onions in half, save the top halves for drying and thinly slice the rest. Mix the sliced spring onion, carrot, apple, garlic and ginger with the cabbage.
4 Strain off all the excess liquid from the cabbage mixture and reserve for later. Add the chilli paste and mix through thoroughly.
5 Firmly push the mixture into a sterilised jar. It should just fit into a 2 litre (70 fl oz/8 cup) jar but if it doesn’t, add any extra to a small jar. There should be no pockets of air in the jar (or jars). Add the reserved liquid to cover.
6 Cut the reserved outer cabbage leaves into rounds slightly larger than the top of the jar. Press these into the top of the jar and cover with more liquid. Cover with muslin (cheesecloth) or a clean kitchen cloth held in place with a rubber band or string. Store out of direct sunlight for 6–10 days until nicely fermented to your liking.
7 Seal the jar with a lid and store in the fridge. It will keep for a couple of months, but there’s a very good chance you will have used it all by that point anyway.
Fermented Chilli Paste
Use a 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) jar
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) large red chillies
1 ½ tablespoons salt
½ teaspoon raw (demerara sugar)
1 Wash the chillies and slice the stems off. Give them a rough chop and mix with the salt and sugar in a bowl. Leave them to cure for about 1 hour and then blend into a fine puree.
2 Transfer the mix to a sterilized jar. It will only fill the jar a third of the way, but it needs plenty of room to breathe. Cover with muslin (cheesecloth) or a clean kitchen cloth held in place by a rubber band or string and leave on a shelf out of direct sunlight for 4 days. The juice will separate from the puree, so give it a mix each day.
3 Once ready, transfer to a smaller airtight jar and refrigerate. It will keep for at least a month.
Recipes and images from The Natural Cook by Matt Stone (Murdoch Books) $39.99 available 1 August 2016 in all good bookstores and online