Recipe Creator : Tess Ward
Book Credit: The Naked Chef
Photography: Columbus Leth
1 large Chinese cabbage 100g coarse sea salt
4 litres water
1 head of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
60ml fish sauce
60g chilli powder
1 bunch of spring onions, green and white part, cut into 3cm lengths
1 teaspoon honey
Cut the cabbage in half lengthways, then slice each half lengthways into 3 sections. Cut away the tough stem parts.
Dissolve the salt in the water in a very large container, then submerge the cabbage in the water. Put a plate on top to keep it submerged and leave to stand for 2 hours.
Mix the remaining ingredients in a very large metal or glass bowl. Drain the cabbage, rinse it, and squeeze it dry.
Here’s the scary part: mix it all up (wear rubber gloves as the chilli can stain your hands). Pack into a clean jar large enough to hold it all and cover tightly. Leave to stand for 1–2 days at cool room temperature (65–75°F).
Check the kimchi: if it’s bubbling a bit, it’s fermenting and ready to be refrigerated. If not, let it stand another day, after which it should be ready. Once it’s fermenting, serve or store in the fridge, and eat within 3 weeks.
This is a traditional spicy and sour condiment made from fermented cabbage and a variety of punchy, strong spices. It is also known for being beneficial for digestive health, and full of vitamins A, B and C. I use it alongside slippery, sesame dressed noodles or simply mixed through steamed brown rice, with some soy sauce and a fried egg.