Vegan kimchi

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So this time it will be a bit different, not a main course but a side dish. I love kimchi; it’s a very versatile lightly fermented spicy Korean dish that will be good for weeks in the fridge so it is possible to store it for the right time. First time I encountered it was in Japan, It was the first night and I spent in jet-lagged in Korean town. I just had some rice with kimchi, didn’t know what I ordered but it got me hooked. It can be made from cabbage, daikon, yeah even fruit. The only thing that defines it (according to me as a self-proclaimed expert) is the spice combination of ginger, chili and garlic. Normally it houses a Korean chili but I think you can go for whatever suits your needs. For the fish sauce that’s traditionally in there, we go miso style instead. I probably got fish sauce in the one I ordered in Japan, it is impossible to avoid; you can try your best order vegetarian/vegan foods, and there will still be some fish stock in there. I just had to settle with it. Let’s go for a basic cabbage style miso.

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Vegan kimchi
 
What you need
  • 2 large heads of napa cabbage
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2-inch ginger
  • 4 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp miso
  • Salt
How to do it
  1. Use very clean utensils when fermenting. But don't worry about sterilization, that’s not needed.
  2. Remove the white base from the cabbage (don't throw them away). Slice the green parts and sprinkle them with some salt, allow to rest for one hour.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the white cabbage parts with garlic, ginger, chili powder, miso paste in a food processor. Process into a paste, add water if needed.
  4. Mix the cabbage with the paste. Place in a container like a bigger glass jar or similar. Pack the cabbage tightly, you want as much of the air bubbles as possible to go away. If the water released by the salt doesn’t cover the top of the cabbage you want to add more salt water (this fermentation, lacto acid, works underwater without oxygen). Dilute salt in water until it tastes like sea water.
  5. One the liquid is over the cabbage win want to hold the cabbage down, so it doesn’t float to the top. I find using a sealed plastic bag filled with water does the trick as a weight.
  6. Allow to ferment for 2 days in room temperature then transfer to smaller jars and place in the fridge for 1 week. Now your kimchi will be ready for prime time.

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