Bok Choi Kimchi- Embracing Imperfection
This is a great recipe for first time fermenters. Kimchi is packed with vitamin C and is incredible for gut health which has been shown to greatly strengthen the immune system. It's a win win win: good for you, delicious and good for the environment as it helps reduce food waste!
Here's the recipe, we hope you love it as much as we do!
BOK CHOI KIMCHI
Yield: ½ gallon kimchi
6 bunches bok choi
1 bunch salad turnips
2 large carrots
2 bunches spring onions
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small onion, peeled
4" segment ginger
1 small apple or pear, peeled, core removed
2 tbsp chilli paste (use less if you do not like spicy food!)
2 ½ Tbsp kosher salt
1 large metal bowl
½ gallon glass or plastic container
Clean cloth big enough to fit over your container
Large cutting board
Plastic bag with no leeks (test it by filling it with water)
Clean the bok choi and cut it into 1” chunks. Place the chunks in a large metal bowl and toss them with 1 ½ Tbsp kosher salt. Massage the salt into the bok choi, squeezing the pieces in your hands as you mix it. Set the bok choi aside for 10 minutes.
While your bok choi is resting, make the kimchi paste by combining the bulbs of the spring onion, ginger, garlic, chili paste and the apple or pear in the blender and blending until it forms a smooth paste. You can add a teaspoon of fish sauce to the paste if you are into that kind of thing. Once your paste is ready, chop the rest of your vegetables. I like to cut the carrots into ¼” thick half moons and slice the salad turnips into 1/2" medallions so they maintain a little crunch as they ferment. Chop the tops of the spring onions into 1” length pieces. Toss all of the vegetables in with the bok choi and add the kimchi paste. Mix well.
At this point the bok choi should be very juicy. Pack the kimchi into your clean glass or plastic container packing it down forcefully as you go so there are no air bubbles and all of the liquid is pressed out of the bok choi. The goal is to have an inch of liquid above the chopped vegetables. If there is not enough liquid, mix together 1 cup of water with 2 tsp salt, stir to dissolve and pour it on top of the kimchi. To keep the kimchi submerged, put ½ cup of this brine in your plastic bag, secure it tightly by tying it and place it into the container. It should expand to keep all of the vegetables submerged. I like to fill the bag with brine instead of water because if it leeks, it will not dilute the kimchi.
I usually let my kimchi ferment for 6-8 days because I like it really funky! The warmer the weather is, the quicker the fermentation will happen. Check the kimchi every day, making sure the vegetables are still submerged. Press down on the vegetable to remove any air bubbles. Taste the kimchi as it ferments. It is done when it is slightly effervescent and very tangy. If you let it ferment longer, the vegetables will lose their crunch. Once the fermentation is done, place the kimchi in the refrigerator, it will last for at least 2 months, if you don’t eat it all before then!