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Janet Rosen
03-08-2012, 07:45 PM
By request, for Phi

KIM CHEE

This recipe is for one large or two small heads of Napa/Chinese cabbage. I usually do double to triple this at a time, but you need large containers for brining then.
For each large head of Napa/Chinese cabbage:

1. BRINE this is done either in the morning for doing the rest of the prep in the evening, or later in the day for the rest to be done the following morning
Mix 4 tb pickling salt dissolved in 8 cups cool water
Mix, let stand until clear (about 20 minutes)
Wash and core cabbage; cut into 2" pieces
Place in large nonreactive container, pour the brine over just enough to cover the cabbage, weight it (with plates, etc) so the cabbage is pressed down into the brine, and let it sit at cool room temperature for 8 to 15 hours

2. SPICE MIX:
3 scallions, slivered lengthwise, chopped into 2-3" pieces
1-2 diced cloves of garlic
1-2 tb minced or grated fresh garlic
1 - 1.5 tsp pickling salt
1 - 1.5 tb hot red pepper powder (I really like Allepo pepper)
(can substitute 1/2 paprika + 1/2 chile flakes)
enough toasted sesame oil and rice vinegar to form a paste
OPTIONAL: 1 tb mirin, 1/2 cup julienned carrots or daikon, zest of lime or lemon, 1/2 peeled and diced lime or lemon

3. PUTTING UP TO FERMENT:
Have a large clean wide mouthed jar ready and also a freezer type ziplock
(you CAN do it without the ziplock bag, just covering the jar loosely, but I like the partial seal this method yields and use it for all my home pickling)
Take the cabbage and brine
Pour the brine back into the container you mixed it in
Squeeze some excess brine from the cabbage
Add the paste to the cabbage and hand toss so the pieces are well covered
Stuff the cabbage mix into the jar, tamping down well, and leaving at least 2-3" free at the top of the jar
Pour brine into jar just to cover the cabbage
Form a seal over the cabbage by placing the ziplock into the mouth of the jar and filling it with enough leftover brine or plain water to occlude the jar opening. Seal the ziplock

Put the jar where it can stay under 68 degrees; I find 58-66 is optimal but as low as 45 will work but will take longer

4. FINISHING
Start checking after four days for good sourness; usual ferment time is 4 to 6 days
Then pour off excess brine, if desired pack into smaller jars, and refrigerate the kimchee.
It will last in the fridge for months. When it gets too sour to enjoy eating, it is perfect for hot and sour soup.

Janet Rosen
03-08-2012, 07:47 PM
I admit I have gone overboard on kimchee....here is my all kimchee all the time blog (http://fuckyeahkimchee.tumblr.com/)

phitruong
03-08-2012, 10:39 PM
thank you thank you. will try this.

"1-2 tb minced or grated fresh garlic" this was suppose to be ginger, right?

Janet Rosen
03-08-2012, 11:14 PM
thank you thank you. will try this.

"1-2 tb minced or grated fresh garlic" this was suppose to be ginger, right?

YES! Dang, I thought I had corrected that....

Janet Rosen
03-08-2012, 11:19 PM
BTW, this is a hybrid recipe....traditional recipes do a dry brine (cabbage and salt)...there is a general pickling and preserving book I love and from that took the wet brine and the ziplock bag....from traditional recipes I took the making of a paste. Non-vegetarians can add various fish sauces, dry shrimp, etc to the paste as well.

phitruong
03-09-2012, 06:43 AM
in vietnam, my mom, when pickling vegetable, she would cut them up, then spread out on a large bamboo tray and left it out for a day so the vegetable sort of slightly dried. essentially, methink, the water evaporated some from the vegetable, then when you put it in the brine, it would draw the brine inside faster. i don't know if it would be the case here or not.

gregstec
03-09-2012, 12:17 PM
Here's my favorite - just finished a batch up last week.

2 heads Napa cabbage
4 green onions
1/4 cup coarse sea salt
1 3/4 cups water
2 table spoons minced garlic
2 table spoons minced ginger
2 table spoons fish sauce
2 table spoons Korean coarse red pepper powder (important, Korean red pepper is mild)

1. Mix salt in water and put to the side
2. Cut up cabbage in 2" squares
3. Wash cabbage then pour in the salted water and mix thoroughly
4. Cover and place in a cool dark place overnight
5. Next day drain water and save it
6. Rinse cabbage
7. Cut onions to 1" lengths and mix in cabbage
8. Put in the garlic, ginger, fish sauce, and red pepper and mix by hand
9. Place in large glass jar and tamp down - leave about 2" in jar and then pour in save salted water to just cover the cabbage then place lid on jar
10. Place in a cool dark place for 3 to 5 days
11. Open then refrigerate
12. Eat
13. When gone, repeat :)

Greg

Janet Rosen
03-09-2012, 06:35 PM
in vietnam, my mom, when pickling vegetable, she would cut them up, then spread out on a large bamboo tray and left it out for a day so the vegetable sort of slightly dried. essentially, methink, the water evaporated some from the vegetable, then when you put it in the brine, it would draw the brine inside faster. i don't know if it would be the case here or not.

Yes, evaporating and letting the cell structure start to break down, very valuable for starting the process, but I don't think it let's the brine in faster:
I have seen, and made up w/ great success, other recipes that called for letting vegies briefly wilt outside in the sun; they tended to be "quick pickles" which are not fully brined and fermented, but lightly and briefly salted (no water) and then vinegared - I've made a variety of Japanese style quick pickles that way and they are wonderful.

So of course, I'm curious: was your mom doing fermentation (as in kimchee, sour pickles, and authentic sauerkraut) or vinegar pickling (as is very common in USA and Japan)

The thing about wet brine, chemically, is it is a hypertonic solution. Any solid placed in hypertonic solution will give up its liquid. So it is not so much that the cabbage is taking in a lot of salt but that it is giving up much of its water, even though it is soaking in a liquid, and then for the ferment, the salt is creating an environment hostile to undesirable micororganisms and friendly to the ones we want.

Home health care fact from the list nurse: when your pharynx/larynx is really inflamed, your gargle should be hypertonic so that it draws excess exudate/liquid from your tissues. :)

Janet Rosen
03-09-2012, 06:38 PM
Greg, good recipe.
I cannot find Korean pepper in our rural area and even going to the nearest city to a good spice store it wasn't in the form I wanted, only some kind of weird strands. So the first batch or two I used smoked paprika and dried chile flakes, which gave good flavor, the right color, and not too much heat. At the specialty shop when I made it down to the city I chose Allepo because I prefer a bit more heat to my kimchee, it is not fiery hot but has a very very good flavor as well, and is in a crushed, not fully dry powder form that I like to work with.

gregstec
03-09-2012, 07:24 PM
Greg, good recipe.
I cannot find Korean pepper in our rural area and even going to the nearest city to a good spice store it wasn't in the form I wanted, only some kind of weird strands. So the first batch or two I used smoked paprika and dried chile flakes, which gave good flavor, the right color, and not too much heat. At the specialty shop when I made it down to the city I chose Allepo because I prefer a bit more heat to my kimchee, it is not fiery hot but has a very very good flavor as well, and is in a crushed, not fully dry powder form that I like to work with.

I get my specialty stuff (Korean red pepper, fish sauce, wasbi, etc) at Hmart.com on line - other stuff (cabbage, sea salt, green onions, garlic, ginger) easily obtained locally; even here in Dutch Country of Central PA :)

I have heard of the paprika substitute, and even had some in a locally available finished product, but it is just not the same :(



Greg

phitruong
03-09-2012, 08:22 PM
So of course, I'm curious: was your mom doing fermentation (as in kimchee, sour pickles, and authentic sauerkraut) or vinegar pickling (as is very common in USA and Japan)


she did both types. for the dark green vegetable similar to collard green, she did the fermentation. vinegar for daikon, carrot, leek and this vegetable show on this website, http://www.daovien.net/t2560-topic, don't know the english name for it. she also pickled the daikon and leeks in either fish sauce (sweet) or soy sauce as well. we were big on pickling, since we didn't have any kind of refrigeration system (actually, we didn't have electricity or indoor plumbing).

for the green vegetable she didn't dry as long (no more than 1 day), but for stuffs like daikon or leeks, she dried them to very dry (at least 2 days).

here's one of my favourite pickling http://stickygooeycreamychewy.com/2010/08/13/do-chua-vietnamese-carrot-and-daikon-pickle/

Janet Rosen
03-10-2012, 12:31 AM
Phi -

interesting vegie; loooking at all the pix on the page it looks like it is in the same family as Western hemisphere group that includes tomatillo, Cape gooseberry and ground cherries.

I took the recipe for the Do Chua - similar to several in the book I use a lot (The Joy of Pickling) but I like this particular version and hadn't tried anything quite like it yet....reading it I see the source of confusion: something that is vinegar w/ some salt is not a "brine" because brine MEANS salt water (as in...the ocean).

I love kitchen science and am grateful that (so far)hereabouts it is something to be enjoyed and not a survival necessity.