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Kimchi mit napa cabbage

KIMCHI

DIY

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What is Kimchi?

Kimchi comes from Korean and refers to lacto-fermented vegetables. In our context, Kimchi is commonly associated with spicy pickled vegetables, often using Chinese cabbage. The distinction is not always clear and somewhat insignificant. Here, we use Kimchi for all those ferments that are initiated with a chili-protein paste.

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BUYING KIMCHI
   SPICY/PROBIOTIC & UNPASTEURIZED

wie mche ich kimchi selber?

MAKING KIMCHI

The process is very similar to the production of vegetable ferments. Therefore, the same basic prerequisites apply, which we would like to summarize here:

  • Use organically sourced vegetables. Excessively treated vegetables may contain substances on their surface that prevent spontaneous fermentation.

  • Use salt without anti-caking agents, iodine, and separating agents - see also: Salt for fermentation.

  • Ensure that the entire ferment is covered with brine, following the motto "under the brine, it is fine."

  • Choose a container that corresponds to the amount of your ferment. There should be some space left in the container, as the fermentation process can lead to slight volume increase. However, the jar should not be only half-filled - see also: Fermentation vessel.

  • Let your ferment start for a few days at room temperature. It should bubble and ferment properly. Once this process subsides, you can place the ferment in a cooler place for the final maturation.

  • Only refrigerate your ferment when the maturation process is complete. The low temperature reduces fermentation to a minimum.

RECIPES

CLASSIC KIMCHI WITH NAPA CABBAGE

Equipment:

  • 3L swing-top jar/fermentation crock

  • Knife

  • Mandoline/slicer

  • Large bowl

Ingredients:

  • 2 kg Napa cabbage

  • 200 g Carrots

  • 100 g Spring onions

  • 1 Leek

  • 50 g Salt (non-iodized, without anti-caking agents)

Chili Protein Paste:

  • 30 g Starch (e.g., cornstarch)

  • 90 g Water

  • 3 tbsp Korean red pepper flakes (Gochugaru)

  • 2 tbsp Ginger, finely grated, fibers removed

  • 1 tbsp Garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp Onion, finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp Chives, roughly chopped

  • 1 tbsp Pear/apple, finely chopped

  • 3 tbsp good quality fish sauce/soy sauce

Step 1: Cut Vegetables

  • Cut Napa cabbage into 1 cm wide strips, julienne carrots (thin strips), and diagonally slice spring onions and leek into 0.5 cm wide strips.

Step 2: Salt the Vegetables

  • Weigh the vegetables and mix with 2% salt. In this recipe, it's 50 g, but weigh and adjust the salt accordingly. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the chili paste.

Step 3: Prepare Chili Protein Paste

  • Mix starch in a pot with cold water. Heat the pot on the stove until a thick, almost translucent paste forms. Remove from heat and let it cool to below 40 degrees Celsius. In the meantime, finely chop/mix ginger, garlic, and onion. Combine all ingredients, adjusting the heat level with Gochugaru to taste.

Step 4: Season Kimchi

  • Massage the vegetables firmly with your hands. It should release a lot of water. Gradually mix in the chili protein paste, preferably with gloves, as the paste is spicy. Once everything is well mixed, kneaded, and blended, transfer it to a swing-top jar or fermentation crock. Press it down firmly so that as much brine as possible covers the vegetables. Wipe the edges with a cloth—no vegetable residue should stick above the ferment. Seal.

Step 5: Fermentation

  • Let it start at room temperature (usually between 1-2 days). The kimchi should increase in volume. A slight pull on the rubber of the swing-top jar reveals if gas has been formed. If so, move it to the refrigerator. Let it mature for an additional 7 days, and enjoy!

Kimchi Rezept
Kimchi selber machen
Kimchi
Rezept Kimchi und Schritt für Schritt Aneitng

TIPS & TRICKS

Ratgeber Kimchi

Which Vegetables are Suitable?

There are virtually no limits to creativity. While most kimchis are made with Napa cabbage, radishes, kohlrabi, or cucumber, variations using beets, kale, rhubarb, or other vegetables are also possible. Typically, water-rich vegetables are chosen as they absorb the ginger-garlic paste well. It's essential to note, as with all ferments, the more water content in the vegetable (e.g., cucumber), the shorter the fermentation time. So, it's advisable not to let cucumber kimchi sit for weeks but rather consume it after a few days.

How Much Salt is Needed?

All kimchis are fermented with 2% salt of the total weight. In summer, it might be advisable to slightly increase the salt content.

Low-Sodium Diet and Fermented Foods

If you prefer a low-sodium diet, treat salty ferments like you would with added salt in other ingredients. Let the ferment be your salt source.

Maximizing Probiotics Intake

Consuming large quantities all at once is not necessarily better. Especially if you rarely eat fermented foods, it's better to consume them continuously. The most crucial aspect is to ensure that your ferment is NOT PASTEURIZED, and do not cook it above 40 degrees Celsius. If warming is necessary, do so lightly.

My Ferment isn't Bubbling and Fermenting – What's Wrong?

Diagnosing from a distance is challenging, but consider the following:

  • Avoid heat above 35 degrees Celsius.

  • The fermentation process starts at room temperature, not in the refrigerator.

  • Use organic ingredients.

  • Employ at least 2% salt of the total weight of your ferment (including added water).

  • Use salt without added iodine and anti-caking agents.

  • Ensure the fermenting vegetables are always adequately covered with liquid.

If it doesn't bubble after three days, discard it.

Do I Need a Starter Culture?

No, the natural yeasts on your organic vegetables will kickstart fermentation on their own. However, using a starter culture like "old" kimchi juice isn't a disadvantage and can aid in initiating fermentation.

Do I Really Need Gochugaru for Spiciness in Kimchi?

Ideally, yes. Gochugaru chilies are a specific variety that's not very spicy. They are dried, deseeded, and ground. Using spicier chilies like jalapenos or even habaneros can quickly lead to overly spicy kimchi. So, Gochugaru allows you to use a generous amount—good color, good taste, good kimchi.

Can I Use Paprika for Milder Kimchi?

It's possible, but it might taste more like Paprika-Kimchi, with a distinct paprika note.

How Long Should Kimchi Ferment?

There's no definitive answer. Two main factors influence fermentation:

  • Temperature: How warm is it?

  • What is being fermented?

Here are some guidelines:

  • Cucumber Kimchi: Slightly sour after about 2 days, shouldn't be older than 2 weeks.

  • Napa Cabbage Kimchi: About 5-7 days (1 day at room temperature, 10 days refrigerated).

  • Radish Kimchi: About 7-10 days (2 days at room temperature, 10 days refrigerated).

Help! My Ferment is Overflowing.

During the active phase of fermentation, which typically starts around 12 hours after the vegetables are packed, the brine can bubble vigorously, causing the vegetables to lift or brine to overflow. Fill the fermentation vessel in a way that leaves some space for active fermentation, place it on a plate, and cover it with a cloth to catch any spilled liquid.

What Tools and Equipment Do I Need?

While a glass jar with a lid and a knife are sufficient, the following tools can ensure a successful fermentation experiment:

  • The Right Fermentation Vessel:

    • For small batches (up to 3 liters), swing-top jars are recommended. They allow gas to escape while preventing contaminants from entering.

    • For batches over 3 liters, fermentation crocks are ideal. More ferment often yields better results.

  • Muddler & Pestle:

    • While not essential, a muddler is beneficial for finely chopped vegetables (like cabbage). It helps extract more liquid from the cabbage and prevents air pockets when filling the fermentation vessel.

  • Weights:

    • To ensure vegetables stay submerged in the brine, weights can be used.

How Long Does Kimchi Last?

Fermented foods last almost indefinitely but tend to become more acidic and softer over time. If you use naturally softer vegetables (cucumbers, Napa cabbage), your kimchi will become very soft quickly. If you use crunchier vegetables (radishes, cabbage, kohlrabi), the structure will last longer.

Help! There's a White Slimy Layer on My Fermented Vegetables.

It's likely Kahm yeast. While not harmful, it doesn't taste good. To avoid it, don't open the ferment frequently, stick to the sugar amount in the recipe, and use sufficient salt.

Help! My Brine Has Turned Cloudy.

Don't worry; it's normal. The brine often turns milky or foggy within 24 hours. The vegetables also become paler and grayer. This is a sign of a proper fermentation process.

Help! My Fermented Vegetables Have Molded.

Different-colored molds are a sign of contamination. Always ensure your fermentation vessel is well cleaned, work with clean tools on clean surfaces, and promptly return the ferment to the refrigerator after use.

Vegan or with Fish?

While many original recipes include fish sauce, shrimp, or anchovies, these are often omitted due to concerns about the quality and origin of the fish sauce. High-quality soy sauce is sometimes used instead. Choose based on your dietary preferences.

What Does the Name 김치 Mean?

Kimchi is Korean and originally referred to fermented vegetables. Koreans, as fermentation experts, add a lot of flavor to their ferments, resulting in complex recipes. So, Kimchi commonly denotes a ferment that is enhanced with additional flavors like ginger, onion, garlic, and often chili.

Historical and Cultural Aspects:

The origins of Kimchi can be traced back to the Three Kingdoms of Korea (57 BCE to 668 CE). During that time, vegetables were preserved in saltwater to make them last through the winter. Over time, Kimchi evolved, becoming a staple in Korean cuisine.

During the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897), Kimchi became a significant part of the Korean diet. People started fermenting various vegetables like cabbage, radishes, cucumbers, and others in saltwater, enhancing them with spices like chili, garlic, ginger, and fish sauce. The addition of spices gave Kimchi its characteristic taste and helped preserve the food for a more extended period.

Kimchi wasn't just a culinary element; it also had cultural significance. It was served at important occasions like weddings and New Year's celebrations, symbolizing prosperity and happiness.

Different regional variations of Kimchi developed over time, based on available ingredients and regional preferences. There are hundreds of Kimchi varieties, differing in taste, ingredients, and preparation methods.

Salz - Fermentation
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MAKE KIMCHI YOURSELF
   WORKSHOPS / COURSES & LECTURES

  • Workshop rundum Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Salzgurken! Laktofermentation.

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    95 Euro
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