Kimchi is one of my favourite things to have on the side of a meal (I also love it on grilled cheese toasties). This recipe makes a much larger batch than the other fermented recipes because once you try it, you won’t be able to stop eating it.
Use a 2 litre (70 fl oz/8 cup) jar
- 1 large Chinese cabbage (wong bok)
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoon raw (demerara) sugar
- 10 spring onions (scallions)
- 2 carrots, thinly shredded or coarsely grated
- 2 apples, grated
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 5 cm (2 inch) piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 teaspoons Fermented Chilli Paste (see page 48)
Note: I use my own fermented chilli paste in this kimchi, but you can use a store-bought version if you like.
Peel back the outer leaves of the cabbage and set these aside for later use. Split the cabbage lengthways, remove the base and cut crossways into slices about 1 cm (½ inch) thick. Put the cabbage into a mixing bowl and add the salt and sugar. Roughly bruise the cabbage by mixing and squeezing with your hands, then leave it to sit. Cut the spring onions in half, save the top halves for drying and thinly slice the rest. Mix the sliced spring onion, carrot, apple, garlic and ginger with the cabbage.
Strain off all the excess liquid from the cabbage mixture and reserve for later. Add the chilli paste and mix through thoroughly. Firmly push the mixture into a sterilised jar. It should just fit into a 2 litre (70 fl oz/8 cup) jar but if it doesn’t, add any extra to a small jar. There should be no pockets of air in the jar (or jars). Add the reserved liquid to cover. Cut the reserved outer cabbage leaves into rounds slightly larger than the top of the jar. Press these into the top of the jar and cover with more liquid. Cover with muslin (cheesecloth) or a clean kitchen cloth held in place with a rubber band or string. Store out of direct sunlight for 6–10 days until nicely fermented to your liking.
Seal the jar with a lid and store in the fridge. It will keep for a couple of months, but there’s a very good chance you will have used it all by that point anyway.
Images and recipes from The Natural Cook by Matt Stone (Murdoch Books) photography by Mark Roper RRP $39.99 available now in all good bookstores and online