Kimchi deemed a success; bread is rising

KimchiI am making a batch of kimchi (kim chee) that is my third attempt at making pickled vegetables. The first two were pretty spectacular (read: pink and fuzzy) failures, but I think I can safely say the kimchi is a success! The 2 things I did differently this time were a) to use a saltwater brine instead of relying on the “juiciness” of the vegetables only, and b) I bought an actual sauerkraut crock and was able to weight the cabbage down under a plate to keep it under the brine.

In other food news this weekend, I’ve got two loaves of bread in for the second of three risings. The first “rising” was actually just the yeast-based starter. (I’d been trying to do sourdough starter for nearly 2 weeks and was getting no results.) This morning, I kneaded in two different mixes of flour: one was all white flour, and one was half high-gluten white flour and 1/4 wheat and 1/4 rye. Twenty minutes of kneading later, and they have been stashed in the warmest room in the house to rise. I’ll let you know how that goes.

For the curious, my kimchi recipe is…

Adapted from this recipe (by Cheri, who adapted it from Linda Ziedrich’s Joy of Pickling.)

Kimchi in crock3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon pickling salt
6 cups water
2 lbs. cabbage, chopped into squares (about half a medium cabbage)
6 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths, then slivered
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon sugar

1. Dissolve the 3 tablespoons salt in the water. Put the cabbage into a large bowl, a crock, or a nonreactive pot, and pour the brine over it. Weight the cabbage down with a plate; fill a quart jar with water and set on top of the plate. Let the cabbage stand for 12 hours or so.

2. Drain the cabbage, reserving the brine. Mix the cabbage with the remaining ingredients, including the 1 teaspoon salt.

3. Pour back in enough brine just to cover and re-weight with the plate/jar. Let sit in a cool (<50 degrees) place for 3-6 days.

At this point, I’m calling it “done” and need to decide how to store it for the longer term. I’ll probably pack it tightly into jars and cover with brine. I think I could leave it in the crock in the breezeway, perhaps until spring, but now that I’ve got the hang of this, I think I want to reuse the crock for something else, like pickled ginger carrots. And speaking of carrots, I like carrots in kimchi…I wonder if I could just throw some in now, so long as I keep the brine topped up?


1 Comment

  1. onestraw said,

    January 7, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Fermenting food is something we have not dabbled in yet, but Ed at The Slow Cook seems to really get a kick out of it.

    I use Dan Leader’s Bread Alone as my bread bible, mostly because his technique forces me to stay home for a day!


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