Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Kimchi and Grape Leaves

On Saturday I set aside some time for making kimchi.  It has been an astounding six years since I made my last batch, which was from my own over productive cabbage patch.   I've discovered that Chinese cabbage needs to be grown if the fall around here.  It loved the heavy rain and then went straight to seed and in doing so, nixed my ability to make kimchi from my own cabbage. This time I bought the cabbage.

On Thursday I had ventured onto the Beltway to get to the international grocery.  I bought enough cabbage for two batches, but decided upon making just one (I'm now reconsidering that).  A curious friend came by to participate in the process.  So we chopped cabbage, then massaged salt into it. 
Cabbage, salt and water, doesn't look very appetizing.
While we were waiting for the cabbage to soften, we perused the edge of the yard for wild grape leaves and collected four dozen, enough for a double batch of brined grape leaves.
  The grape leaves were a breeze, mix leaves salt and water, let stand.  Go back in an hour, roll 2 dozen leaves together place in a glass jar and pour the salt water over them.  Let them sit a few days. Done.

Next we chopped the mu (Korean radish) and the scallions for the kimchi. We realized that we had significantly more than we needed, so we made radish kimchi (one of my favorites) too!

Mu, Korean radish
Radish kimchi, before fermentation
My friend patiently grated the garlic and ginger on the microplane grater. 

We had several cups of coffee and chatted.
Then we tossed the cabbage with the mu, the ginger, garlic, chili powder, scallions, and fish sauce. 

Coarsely ground Korean Chili
We bottled everything up, now just to wait a few days for it to ferment.

Fresh bottled kimchi, the mild version.

Grape leaves.
Need to find out how to keep them rolled.

Four days fermented, note bubbles in jar,
a very good sign, it'sbeginning to taste like kimchi.

The Radish is not quite as bubbly as the cabbage,
but still a few in there.

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