Is there something rotten in (Denmark) Ms. Lucy? No, not rotten just Kim Chi

Making Kim Chi in Ms. Lucy

We’ve been hearing a lot about the health benefits of fermented foods. Since we both like fermented foods, we decided to try making some of our own. Bill made our first batch of Kim Chi last week end and it is gone already. We didn’t have the “proper” Kim Chi pepper at the time, so we used  some Guajillo peppers as a substitute. He washed and cut the cabbage into small squares and put them to soak in Sea Salt over night. I was excited to see that the cabbage was already wilted and tasty the next day. Then it was time for Bill to cut , seed and chop the peppers, garlic and other spices.  I put on my disposable food handling gloves and prepared to toss the spices with the cabbage.  Before the mixing could begin, it was time to put in the Fish sauce.

Smells REALLY bad – but makes the Kim Chi taste great.

–Phewwwww. That just smells – well, it’s really impossible to describe it,

but it’s certainly fishy!

Happy Napa chunks soaking in salt water at room temp over night.

After mixing it all up, we spooned it into a clean Ball jar and put the lid on and left it alone so the happy little fermenting critters could do their work.  – Well – some of us left it alone – Bill had to keep “checking” on it, to make sure the process was moving forward as it should.

Brined Napa has been rinsed and drained and the spicy / smelly goodness has been dumped in,

Spices have been mixed in, now it goes into a jar to ferment for a few days.

I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted the results. It turned out really well! Had  two big spoonfuls in my soup last night and it made it much more interesting. The fish sauce smell had mellowed out  during the fermentation process and it was a winner. One that we will repeat and refine, many times I’m sure.  Second batch started  –  step 1 – soak chopped Napa in brine for at least 12 hours, etc. etc.  This is the easy part – the hardest part – at least for Bill – is the part that says “best when allowed to ferment for at least one week”. – I’m pretty sure that Kim Chi will never make it that long here.

Since I first drafted this post, we have made three batches of Kim Chi and are planning to make a DOUBLE batch over the weekend.


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