Kimchi Made with 'Hilton' Chinese Cabbage

Make some delicious Korean kimchi, or "kimchee," using Napa cabbage. The longer you let it set, the spicier it gets!



Spring 2016

Yield: 4 quarts

Why not make turn this delicious heirloom cabbage into some Korean kimchi, or "kimchee," and enjoy it anytime you want a bold side dish?

For more about this veggie and how to grow it yourself, see: 'Hilton' Chinese Cabbage.

Ingredients:

• 4 medium size heads ‘Hilton' Chinese cabbage – 2 pounds each
• 4 wide mouth canning jars
• 1/2 cup sea salt or kosher salt
• 2 cups water
• 6 tablespoons grated garlic cloves
• 4 tablespoons grated ginger
• 1 apple, peeled cored and pureed (substitute for sugar)
• 1/4 cup seafood flavor (anchovy water or seaweed water)
• 1/3 cup Korean pepper flakes

Instructions:

1. Thoroughly rinse heads of 'Hilton' Chinese cabbage and drain off excess water. Using a large cutting board, cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the hard core at the bottom of each quarter. Cut horizontally in 1 inch to 2 inch strips and place strips into a large bowl.

2. Add salt and water into the bowl. Gently knead brine into the cabbage strips. Make sure the strips are covered with brine. Put a large plate on top of the wilting cabbage strips. Use a heavy object to weight down the plate. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours.

3. Rinse and drain the cabbage strips 3 times in cold water. Place strips in a colander to drain for 20 minutes. (Rinse and dry the bowl you used for brining. Set the bowl aside for later use.)

4. Meanwhile, mix together the garlic, ginger, pureed apple, and seafood flavor in a small bowl. Add the Korean pepper flakes to make a paste. I recommend you use rubber gloves, unless you want glowing hands that smell like seafood. Set the mixture aside.

4. Gently squeeze out the excess moisture from the strips of cabbage. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage strips and paste mixture until thoroughly mixed. Again I recommend the gloves for obvious reasons!

5. Using a canning funnel, tightly pack the kimchi into the quart canning jars until the brine is above the mixture. Leave 1 inch of head room in the jar to accommodate the fermentation process. Seal the jars with lids and bands.

6. Allow jars to sit out for 2 to 5 days before refrigeration: two days for mild kimchi and up to five days for spicy kimchi. You should put a bowl under the jars to catch any brine that may leak from the jar because of the fermentation process. Taste the kimchi daily. When it is to your liking, refrigerate and use as desired.