I am a big fan of fermented foods, and kimchi is at the top of my must have list. I had a copious amount of tatsoi, (also known as “ta choy,” or “spoon mustard,”) which is in the brassica family. (Think cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, or, most similarly, bok choi.) Since I also love radish kimchi, I merged them together for a fun and easy fermenting project.
NOTE: Kimchi does not have to be fermented, and can be eaten right away. Although, I like a nice tangy sour kimchi, myself. It’s full of healthy probiotics, and a nice tangy and spicy kick to any Asian dish, (or just added to rice.)
- 3–4 bunches Tatsoi, rinsed and trimmed
- 1 cup Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups julienned carrots (I am lazy and bought a bag, but you can shred up carrots by hand. I like the uniformity and crunch retained by store bought.)
- 2 cups daikon radish peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-by-2-inch pieces
- 4–6 green onions, rinsed, trimmed, and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 5 Tablespoons garlic paste (I got mine from a tube [again, convenience] but you can also use about 15 good-sized peeled garlic cloves)
- 5 Tablespoons ginger paste (You guessed it… this was also from a tube, but you can also use 3.5 inches peeled ginger root)
- 1 apple or Asian pear, medium size, cored and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 6 Tablespoons fish sauce (You can omit this if you are not a fan or vegan/vegetarian, but it will just not have the same kimchi-ness [which is definitely a word], although vegan Worcestershire sauce, tamari, soy sauce or vegan fish sauce alternatives on the market can work well)
- 6 Tablespoons Gochugaru
- In a large bowl, alternate layers of tatsoi and a generous sprinking of salt. You may not have to use the whole cup of salt, but you can’t really go overboard on this. Leave the tatsoi to sit for 15-20 minutes to draw out the water.
- While you are waiting or the tatsoi, place garlic and ginger, chopped apple, fish sauce and gochugaru into a food processor and blend until a paste is formed.
- Rinse the tatsoi in cold running water and squeeze as much water as you can from the leaves. They should be nice and flexible now, so don’t worry about crushing them.
- Mix together the tatsoi, daikon, carrot and green onions in a large bowl. Add the paste and stir until everything is well coated. This is a great time to put those rubber gloves you got for quarantine to use. Get in there with your hands and mash mash mash.
- In your container, start adding the mixture and really using your all to squish the mixture together. The idea is for no air to be in the kimchi when you’re done. Use a wooden spoon or your hands to press it down as firmly as possible. I used four 16 ounce glass canning jars, but you can use a plastic container as well, as long as you are now reserved to only use that container for kimchi.
- If you’re not fermenting, congrats! You’re done! Otherwise, loosely cover the container lid (so gasses can escape,) set in a shallow baking dish, and put somewhere is around 75-80 degrees for at least 24 hours. You can definitely use your oven (making sure it’s turned off,) or just on the countertop. If you use your oven a lot, I would suggest the latter. It’s been a rather cool summer in Portland, so my kimchi took a few days to ferment. The longer you let it sit, the tangier it will be, but I would suggest no more than 3 days if this is your first time fermenting. It will continue to slowly ferment in the fridge. I would also point out that you should discard anything that gets moldy. Don’t be a hero. These things happen!
- Category: kimchi
- Method: fermentation
- Cuisine: Asian