Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bacteria can be good: Kimchi

This post is a kind of "build-along". Today we made kimchi and sauerkraut. Both delicious, nutritious. Both depend on friendly bacteria rotting the vegetables to make them taste good and be good for us.

So let's start with the ingredients for kimchi.
Remember, we have 10 children. So we make things in large batches. But even so, this kimchi cost us about $7 to make. What we'll get is about 3 or 4 gallons. You can see the Napa Cabbage and the Bokchoi, the radishes (no grocery store had Diacon radish), scallion, garlic, ginger, peppers, non-iodized salt, fish oil, powdered shrimp, whey from spoiled milk, and paprika.

How much of each? who cares? Experiment. The cabbages are the main ingredient, the rest is flavoring.

Cut the cabbage and put it in the thumping bucket. Layer the ingredients so that there is less work mixing later.

Get your kids to do some of the cutting.

And get them to do some of the mixing and sorting.

A nice layer will have most of the ingredients.

Some ingredients might be specially treated. We shaved the carrots with a carrot peeler. This works nicely so that we have long pieces that are thin enough to ferment quickly.

The pail nearly filled with the raw ingredients already smells good. Now it's ready for the thumping.

The 5 gallon pail almost filled will yield 2 gallons or so of crushed kimchi. The ingredients are crushed together so that they juice up. The whey and the lactobacillus (good bacteria from spoiled milk) cover all the ingredients.

And you end up with something that you can enjoy in just a few short days.

1 comment:

Babs said...

I was okay until I got to 'fish oil and powdered shrimp'. Then again, 'whey from spoiled milk' rates about the same. The finished product looks good, though!