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I love to cook, I've always loved to cook.

As a young girl, my time was spent reading the cookbooks that mum kept in the bottom kitchen drawer. Always looking for a new recipe to try, a new food idea. Many weekends were spent making rainbow cakes with as many colours as possible – have you seen my Instagram, not much has changed, and looking for recipes that I could cook using what was available in the cupboard or from the vegetable garden.

At the aged of about 16, I remember stating that I wanted to leave the farm and travel the world. This would be followed by retiring by about 30 and moving back to South Gippsland to grow vegetables and cook. From 16 fast forward 20 years and I returned, starting Jacican Food Studio in Mirboo North, Gippsland where I grow vegetables and cook. This blog is where I share my food adventure.

Jaci

I first experienced Kim Chi, before the turn of the century, as uni students we visited the local Korean BBQ joint. Sitting on the floor, barbecuing dinner over hot coals, served with a large selection of Korean side dishes. And the one side dish that you eat with every meal (and I mean every meal) is Kim Chi – a pickled fermented cabbage.

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Kim Chi is made from salted and fermented vegetables, with the addition of Korean chilli powder (Gochugaru), ginger, garlic, leek and fish sauce. The most common form of Kim Chi – the one you eat with everything, is made using Chinese Cabbage, Wok Bok. I have made a daikon radish and turnip varieties before as well.

Ingredients

2 kg Chinese cabbage – Wok Bok
200 g salt

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Kimchi paste

150 gram gochugaru – Korean chilli powder*
300 gram leek
30 grams garlic – minced
20 grams ginger – minced
200 grams daikon – shredded
20 ml fish sauce
2 tablesspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar

If you would like to make a vegetarian version, feel free to leave the fish sauce out.

Method

Day 1

Cut the Chinese cabbage in half, then quarters. Place in a non corrosives bowl. Sprinkle the 200 grams of salt between the leaves of the cabbage. Cover with cold water and leave over night, up to 24 hours. You will need to weight down the cabbage with a kimchi stone. I just use a couple of dinner plates.

 

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Day 2

Drain the water from the Chinese cabbage and rinse a couple of times in cold water. Squeeze as much of the liquid as you can from the leaves.

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Mix all the ingredients for the Kimchi paste together.

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Mix the chinese cabbage and kimchi paste together, making sure you coat the mixture between the leaves of the cabbage. I suggested that you wear disposable gloves to do this or you will end up the chilli covered and stained hands.

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Place the leaves tightly together in your fermenting pot. I just use clean and sterilized plastic buckets. Cover with a lose fitting lid (there needs to be room for the fermenting gas to escape). Leave over night at room temperature – not next to the heater. Check after one night then place in the fridge to slow down the process. You will need to check your kimchi daily to see how it's going. Your kimchi should be ready in about 5 days.

I going to serve mine on Bibimbap – a mixed rice bowl topped with pickle and fresh vegetables, beef, kimchi and a fried egg as part of the 2017 Curry in a un-Hurry dinner.

Jaci

*Available from Asian groceries – Japanese and Korean specialty stores.

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