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Sauerkraut & 'quick' kimchi

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Sauerkraut & 'quick' kimchi

Side Serves 4 30 min
Fermented foods are not only delicious but they are really good for you, because beneficial probiotics, or ‘live bacteria’, are produced during fermentation. This is a classic, simple sauerkraut recipe. You can enjoy it as sauerkraut, or add garlic, chilli and ginger to turn it into a ‘quick’ kimchi: a Korean classic with a zingy, spicy hit.

Cook's notes

This recipe makes 1 jar (1 litre capacity) - make sure the jar is completely clean and sterilized with boiling water.

Ingredients

For the sauerkraut:

  • 1 white cabbage
  • salt

For the kimchi:

  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 3 red chillies
  • thumb of ginger

Method

Prep time: 30 min

Sauerkraut

  • Step 1

    Thinly slice the cabbage into strips. Using scales, weigh the shredded cabbage, then work out 2% of the total weight and add that weight in salt. Massage the salt into the cabbage until the cabbage starts releasing liquid - this can take a while, but you can leave it and return to it a little later instead of doing it in all in one go.
  • Step 2

    Put the cabbage and its juices into a sterilized jar, ideally a Kilner-type gar with a rubber seal. Use greaseproof paper and a small object as a weight on top to ensure the cabbage is totally submerged. If you are using a self-gassing jar (such as a Kilner jar) then simply leave for 5 days in a stable room temperature environment, avoiding direct sunlight. If you are using a screw top jar, then open the daily to release the gasses.
  • Step 3

    After at least 5 days, enjoy the sauerkraut as it is, or follow the next steps to turn into a quick kimchi.

Kimchi

  • Step 1

    Make a paste out of the chilli, garlic and ginger in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Add more chilli to your taste, depending on how hot you want it.
  • Step 2

    Transfer the sauerkraut to a large bowl, add the chilli, garlic and ginger paste, then mix well and return to the jar. You can eat it straight away, but is much better after a few days left at room temperature.
  • Step 3

    Store at room temperature in the jar. It’ll continue to ferment the longer you leave it, so if it reaches a point that you like, put it in the fridge to slow further fermentation.

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