A few weeks ago, I posted a photo of my kimchi-making experiment on my personal and business Facebook pages. I wasn’t intending to write a blog post about kimchi, but there seemed to be enough interest in the process, so I thought I would share.
Some of you might remember that fermentation is my nemesis. I have never made a batch of sauerkraut that didn’t go moldy.
I’ve had some recent success with creating yogurt and fermented nut cheese. Feeling triumphant and armed with a new boldness, I decided to give homemade kimchi a whirl.
I wasn’t bold enough, however, to come up with my own recipe. I adapted this one from Mango and Tomato, which I bookmarked over a year ago (it’s never too late to try a new recipe!).
I followed the preparation instructions to the letter, but made a few ingredient substitutions:
- I used plain ‘ol green cabbage, as that’s what arrived in my weekly produce box.
- I used dried kochukaru flakes. Many recipes call for gochujang paste in kimchi, but the brands I found in my ‘hood all listed corn syrup as the first ingredient. No thank you, GMOs. Many of them also contained wheat flour. (Are kochukaru and gochujang the same thing? Though I love exploring food from different cultures, I find some of the Korean spices confusing and as a white Jewish girl, I felt awkward and out of place while perusing the Korean shops. If anyone would like to enlighten me, please do!)
- I have no tolerance for spice and used 3 tablespoons of kochukaru instead of 1/4 cup. It was still a wee bit too spicy for my tastes – I would likely use 2 1/2 tablespoons next time.
- I don’t have oyster sauce or fish sauce. Even though these ingredients were optional in the recipe, I substituted coconut aminos. I would have liked my kimchi to be a tad saltier. Next time, I would try something like gluten-free tamari instead.
- I subbed coconut sugar for white sugar.
Warning: when you’re making this, your kitchen will reek of kimchi (since our place is open concept, this meant our entire home smelled of it). It’s not a terrible assault to your senses or anything – I quite liked it. But if you’re sensitive to smells, you might want to leave this in a well-sealed cupboard!
Have you made kimchi before? Please share your favourite recipe in the comments!