No, Kimchi is not an acronym. It is a Korean saurkraut that is naturally fertmented. This means that no vinegar is added, but you still end up with the tang of a pickle or, well, saurkraut. It contains probiotics which help with digestion and immune health. Who can't use more of that, right?
So, above are the simple ingredients: Cabbage(napa cabbage, if you prefer) carrots, fresh garlic and ginger, I add chili flakes, salt, and filtered water if your tap contains chlorine. Bad, Bad, Bad, NO CHLORINATED WATER!
Ok, here are the three basic steps of fermenting vegatables:
3.) This is the only precise part in the whole process. You can mix up the flavors, add less salt, more salt, etc. But you must end with tightly packed veggies with liquid just covering them. You may need to add a splash of water if your cabbage doesn't give off enough juice. Add some extra salt with it. The salt and the liquid will keep mold from forming while it ages for a few days. You can fold some cabbage leaves and press it in the top inch of the jar to keep the kimchi submerged, or you can just open the jar and push it back down every now and then.
Keep the lid on loosely and leave at room temp for a few days. Start tasting it and move it to the refridgerator when it's at tangy as you like it!
Some variations that I tried today:
Preserved Lemons and cilantro layered into the cabbage.
Fish sauce with extra chili (traditonal kimchi sometimes has actual fish in it and is very hot)
So check back in a week and I'll let you know how that other flavors turned out!
A friend of mine that is a kimchi fanatic adds it to her chicken soup and it is delicious. I love to put it on a fried egg sandwich and we've also used it on portobella rueben sandwiches. Amazing!
Please, if you have any questions, let me know.