Kimchi: whether you scrunch up your nose in distaste or greedily pile it atop of every meal as you would a condiment, there’s no arguing with its health benefits. It is a staple of the Korean diet and has been for thousands of years. The fermented mixture improves metabolism, is low in calories, and is full of immune and digestive system boosting probiotics. In a nutshell, it’s a superfood.
I have a very weak sense of smell – a fact that I really detest about myself. Other people, when asked what they would change about themselves, might choose a smaller waist size or a bigger boobs or straight hair instead of curly. Me? I just wish I had a more functional sense of smell.
I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it here before, so now you all know my secret – I’m noseblind, or scentdeaf, whatever you want to call it. I can smell very few things and what I can smell, I have difficulty knowing what it is. As I’m sure you can imagine, this can be both a blessing and a curse at times.
One thing that I can smell? THIS KIMCHI. As soon as we opened the jar and I heard the fizz of fermentation, I caught a whiff of the stuff. Whoa. This is some powerful stuff. Clark was shocked that I could smell it, but honestly, there’s no way you couldn’t. It has its own distinct aroma that is like no other food.
Before fermenting, the ingredients make a vibrant, colorful mixture:
And after fermentation, the kimchi is a pungent, spicy jar of probiotic boosting goodness:
If you’ve never tried kimchi, I can’t recommend it enough. Fermented foods are among the most beneficial things you can put into your body because of their probiotic content. Sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, etc. You can’t have a healthy body without a healthy gut, if ya feel me. ;)
I recommend easing into fermented foods like kimchi, maybe trying it on a sandwich, over eggs, or just a small bowl when you first try it.
Embrace the smell, embrace the taste, and embrace it for what it’s doing for you.Print
Bok Choy Kimchi
Treat your gut and immune system with a healthy dose of beneficial kimchi. This fermented mixture has been a staple in the Korean diet for centuries.
- Prep Time: 10 hours
- Cook Time: 24 hours
- Total Time: 34 hours
- Category: Side Dish
- 1 1/2 lbs baby bok choy [quartered]
- 4 medium carrots [finely chopped]
- 1/2 cucumber [thinly sliced]
- 1/2 small red cabbage [thinly sliced]
- 3 Tablespoons sea salt
- Spring water
- 1 yellow onion [finely chopped]
- 3/4 large apple [finely chopped. Fuji is a good choice thanks to its crisp sweetness.]
- 3 Tablespoons red pepper powder
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- warm water
- Prepare all ingredients as described above.
- In a very large bowl, combine bok choy, carrots, cucumber, cabbage, onion, apple, salt, and enough spring water to cover. Spring water is important – avoid tap water if at all possible. You don’t want fluoride in your kimchi.
- For the bowl of kimchi ingredients, find a plate or something flat that you can use to compress the mixture. Place something heavy and waterproof on top of the flat surface to weigh down the ingredients and keep them submerged in the salt bath. This allows the ingredients to be cured completely before beginning the fermenting stage.
- Allow this mixture to sit for 8-12 hours at room temperature.
- In the meantime, you can create the kimchi paste.
- Combine the red pepper powder and just enough warm water to create a paste.
- In a food processor, blend apple, red pepper powder, garlic, and onion into a puree. Add the red pepper paste to the food processor and blend until well combined.
- Once the vegetables have cured for 8-12 hours, drain the salt water into a bowl or jar and set aside.
- Add the paste mixture that you created and mix into the vegetables until well combined.
- Transfer the kimchi into glass jars and pour in enough of the excess water to cover the mixture in each jar. Seal tightly.
- Store at room temperature for 24-48 hours, then refrigerate. The kimchi should stay good for 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator.