Recipe: Springtime Kimchi

By Josh Furman
IMG_20160526_122908This is a great blueprint for a Kimchi that can be made throughout the growing season. A more traditional Kimchi can be made with napa cabbage and daikon radish, but the recipe is incredibly flexible, and allows you to try whatever ingredients you find in your CSA box or at the farmers market. Napa cabbage can replace bok choy, green onions can replace garlic scapes, all radish/no radish, all carrot/no carrot, throw in some kohlrabi….the opportunities are endless!
  • 2 lbs Bok choy
  • 1/4 cup kosher or coarse sea salt
  • Cold water
  • 4 garlic scapes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 carrots, trimmed, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 lb radishes cut into matchsticks
  • 3-4 tablespoons ground Korean red pepper gochugaru (can be purchased online or at Asian Grocery stores such as Uwajimaya)
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 6  garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Instructions

  1. Cut the bok choy in half and remove the cores if they appear tough. Cut each half crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips.
  2. Place the bok choy and salt in a large bowl. Massage the salt into the greens until it starts to soften a bit, then cover bok choy with water. Let stand for 1-2 hrs.
  3. While the bok choy sits, combine the garlic, fish sauce, red pepper, ginger, and sugar, and mix into a paste.
  4. Rinse the bok choy under cold water and drain in a colander for 15 minutes.
  5. Return it to the bowl along with the garlic scapes, radish, and carrot. Add the chile paste mixture, and mix everything together until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Pack the kimchi into a jar, pressing down so brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave 1 inch of headspace and seal with a lid.
  6. Allow the jar to sit at room temperature for between 2-5 days. Bubbles will likely appear inside the jar, and might cause some overflow. Place a plate or bowl under the jar to catch any drips.
  7. Check the Kimchi once a day, pressing down on the vegetables with a clean finger or spoon to keep them submerged under the brine (releases gas created during fermentation.  Start tasting the Kimchi after 2 days, and transfer the jar to the fridge when you enjoy the taste. The longer you allow it to ferment, the more sourness and tang you will create. I find that 4-5 days is perfect for my palate, but experiment and enjoy!