This is one of my favorites – I love Kimchee. In my college days I remember walking around Korea Town in Los Angeles and the smell of kimchee fermenting filled the air. Kimchee is essentially pickled Chinese or Napa cabbage, different from sauerkraut as it has a kick of chili. Traditional recipes use anchovy paste, so this vegan recipe leaves that out.
It takes about 1 day to make kimchee (unlike the traditional one that takes a week or more), and well worth the wait. Start it the night before if you’re making it for a dinner party.
1 big head Chinese or Napa cabbage
2 Red chili peppers, de-seeded (wear gloves for this) and roughly minced
1 1/2 inch Ginger root, peeled, roughly chopped and pureed (can use a spice mill for this)
2 big cloves garlic
1/8 cup Sea salt
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar (or a white rice vinegar if you dont have brown rice vinegar)
1. Wash the cabbage and carefully cut it lengthways down the middle. Then chop it in slices the width of a finger.
2. Place the chopped cabbage in a big bowl. Sprinkle it well with sea salt. Toss it all together and sprinkle a bit more on. The salt is going to help draw out the water from the cabbage and essentially ‘wilt’ it. Let it sit overnight if you can.
3. Once the cabbage has wilted, fill the bowl with water and rinse out the salt a few times. Drain the cabbage.
4. In a mini food processor, blend the garlic, ginger and chilis into a smooth paste.
5. Toss the paste and the cabbage together with the vinegar. Let it sit at room temperature – overnight if possible.
Kimchee is great with asian meals, with rice and tofu, or even as a refreshing small salad between meals.