White Kimchi with Pear & Fennel

Inspired by the fermenting demo at 610 Magnolia with Chef Edward Lee, I made this white kimchi with pear and fennel within days of returning home from the IACP conference in Louisville. It’s loosly based on the recipe from Smoke and Pickles by Edward Lee.

White Kimchi w/Pear and Fennel

  • Time: 1hr + 2-6hrs soaking
  • Print

*Note: Allow 2-24 hrs to soak cabbage in salted water at room temperature

Ingredients

  • 1 large savoy cabbage 3-4lbs cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 4-6 qts water for soaking cabbage
  • 1 bulb fennel, tops trimmed(save for something else), chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1 pear, cored, peeled and chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 8 ounces of daikon radish,peeled and chopped
  • 6 green onions cut in ½ inch pieces
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • ½ bunch cilantro, stems trimmed and discarded, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2oz ginger, peeled and minced
  • ¼ cup sea salt
  • 2 TB fish sauce
  • 2 TB honey
  • ½ cup of whey if available

Directions

  • Cut the cabbage into quarters, cut out the core and discard. Coarsely chop cabbage into 1-2 inch pieces and place in a large bowl.
  • Toss in 1 cup of salt and massage into cabbage.
  • Cover the cabbage with water and place a weight (like a plate) on top to submerge cabbage. Let sit at room temperature for 2-6 hours (I’ll let it sit overnight even).
  • Drain cabbage and rinse. You will see it has begun to soften.
  • Chop the fennel, onion, pear, bell pepper, daikon, green onions and jalapeño pepper.
  • Mince the garlic and ginger and mix together with the ¼ cup of salt, honey, fish sauce and whey if available.
  • Mix cabbage and all remaining ingredients thoroughly and stuff into ½ gallon mason jar. Have an extra quart jar available for back up!
  • Take your fist and mash down the kimchi to bring up the liquid.
  • Place swatch of cheesecloth on the jar and place a lid on it.
  • After two days, gently open jar, “burp” it and make sure contents are under the liquid.
  • Leave at room temperature for 3-7 days and then refrigerate.
  • NOTE: I will let mine ferment on the counter for up to 2-3 weeks if it’s in a cooler pantry. This comes down to factors of room temperature and personal taste preferences. It will continue to ferment in the fridge- just not as quickly.

I packed all this into a half gallon canning jar along with another quart jar. It’s always a little give and take depending on the size of the cabbage.

I tried something Chef Lee did, putting a swatch of cheesecloth just under the lid. It keeps the contents off the underside of the lid.

After only 3 days it was burping and bubbling and the solids were completely immersed in the liquid. Using the whey does help expedite this process. You can either find someone who is making cheese, strain some from yogurt…Or just skip it. I’ve made pounds and pounds without whey and they turned out great. I also prefer not use the rice flour slurry that Chef Lee uses in his recipes.

Chef Lee and Darra Goldstein, editor of Cured Magazine, hosted this pre conference event. If Darra has a fan club, I want in. She is a walking food fact and history encyclopedia.

He prepared Chow Chow, a fermented green tomato relish I’ll surely make in August.

A white kimchi like the one I’ve made today, pickled beets and pickled watermelon with peppercorns, fennel fronds, celery, dill allspice, clove and garlic.

These deviled eggs served at Chef Lee’s demo are garnished with pickled watermelon.

I’ll be making the white kimchi again for sure as well in the summer with produce from our own gardens (and may sell it under a new business name- #StarRouteOrcas). But I could not wait until summer to try putting together this recipe. For lack of napa cabbage I went for a nice big head of savoy.

So this conference really rocked my boat. I’ve hovered over it for years waiting for the right time to land.  And 2017 was it. Ollie came with and had the opportunity to teach for a day at the University of Louisville to boot. Score: Double tax deduction. There were informative breakout sessions on writing and cookbook publishing, the workings of SEO, finding your niche, keynote address on the culture of Southern Foods and plenty of networking and good food. My elevator pitch was pretty, how shall I say, weak. But I actually have a fair amount of confidence behind my year of exploration. My midlife awakening. I was quite chuffed around 4am the night before the conference thinking about midlife crisis and how that’s not what I am experiencing. I couldn’t wait to wake up and coin the midlifeawakening hashtag. Yeah… if I had thought about it three years ago maybe. Well, I wasn’t shy to # my thoughts to an already existing stream of midlife consciousness. It’s true. I’ve never been happier than I am right this moment. I had a lucrative couple years doing a job from which I gained friendships and knowledge to carry through life but a job I don’t want to carry into the next decade. My fingernails yearn to be packed with dirt and dough.

So I’m workshopping and conferencing to my hearts content this year. This winter/early spring at least till our four does have their babies (kids) and start making buckets of milk! And then I’ll be making loads of cheese!

Happy fermenting!

xx

wendy

I’m fermenting

Fermenting-10

I love fermented foods. Their taste, their crunchy texture, the way they combine with a meal and how they are so damn good for our gut. Probiotics are big. Check out some related articles at the end of this post.

Fermenting-2

I think fermented food is the kale of last year.

Fermenting-6

And well, I love kale too. I can also sit and eat a half a pound of toffee, specifically the Hedgehog toffee that we started carrying, selling and sampling at the shop. I’m pretty well rounded that way:)

Fermenting-8

I have not only made my second batch of sauerkraut without having to look up maggot in the back of the book, The Art of Fermentation, but we have also eaten it. And liked it. go me.

I recommend Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, also Sandor Katz,
for the basics of fermenting and recipes. And I’d love to hear if you have any recommendations or favorite combinations. Kimchi is next on my list.

Fermenting-12

I thought it was a tad salty but I think I came up short on the 5# of cabbage for the 3 T of salt used. I ended up using the jar filled with water sitting on top of  mini ramekin method. Don’t laugh. It worked and kept the brine above the shredded material which is really one of the main objectives. The other is really packing it down firmly with your hand balled up in a fist. I’m interested to know if anyone has use a pickle press.

I kept it in the pantry covered with a dish towel and rubber band. Don’t worry I’m not selling it in the shop. It looked like this after four weeks. There was a very acceptable amount of scum and no mold.

Fermenting 2

I loved chatting with a customer today talking about everything one can ferment. She spoke of her great uncle who was fermenting garden produce more importantly to survive the winter than be hip and replenish his gut with pre and probiotics.  She’s been enjoying fermented cauliflower which I hadn’t thought to do.

With the success of the first green kraut last month, I went on with the red. I tried the mandolin but that was not happening. I chopped this by hand.

Fermenting 2-2

Fermenting really isn’t hard but a few failed attempts is rather discouraging… Come on over Hannah. We’ll see you get your ferment on track!

Fermenting 2-4 I had two heads of red cabbage that had been in the fridge for nearly two weeks.

Fermenting 2-3

A little dried out, it required the addition of two cups of brine. (ratio is 1 cup to 1 T salt). I got suckered into trying this fancy set up, called the vegetable master  no less, from Cultures for Health. A little pricey for a mason jar and plastic air lock, oh and the three glass disc weights. It lets the gas escape while keeping air out. If it’s amazing, I’ll let you know.

Fermenting 2-8

I also put my third head of red cabbage through the food processor as I didn’t feel like cutting it up and just having cut it from its base, it produced it’s own beautiful brine. That’s what it looked like in the garden.

Fermenting

I was lazy on the hand cutting BeCAuSE…I was working on some sourdough pizza. Do you think it’s better for you if you eat fermented organic white flour? I’d like to think so. Here’s a peek at it. I cooked it on the grill on a pizza stone at about 550°F. Honestly, I don’t know if a post will follow unless you beg.  All toppings were from the garden except the mozzarella. Someday it will be too.

sourdough pizza

Back to veggies… Also inspired by  Sandor Katz in July at Firefly Kitchens in Seattle, I did have a go with my multi colored carrots. Lunar white, red dragon and several nantes types.

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They produced a sufficient amount of their own brine. Once again, I’m employing the jar in a jar method.

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With the dish towel and rubber band.

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I rounded out the project with a carrot beet mix with a little white onion and a dash of fresh ginger…no pic. It’s basically purple.

Here’s to a healthy gut…

Tschüß xx

 

Related Articles:

WSJ: Probiotics May Be More Than a Gut Feeling

Mother Jones: Should I take Probiotics

PickleMeToo… A blogger’s view

This time last year:

Chocolate and Zucchini

chocolate zucchini bread-6

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