CULTURE STARTS WITH A K: Fermented Foods Made Easy. Part One : KIMCHI

Get Cultured: fermented foods and drinks have been consumed around the world for centuries-if not millennia. In every country and every climate, you’ll find one of these ‘cultured’ creations using whole food ingredients favoured locally. Recently, these dishes have hit the headlines, as well as the trendiest menus around. The secret? Once you get going, they’re incredibly simple. Kids will also love getting involved in this fun mixture of science and cooking–and eating and drinking!


It’s said that every Korean kid believes their mother makes the best kimchi in the world, and some go as far as to take a homemade batch along when travelling…  A Korean staple, eaten with almost every meal, this fermented cabbage dish packs a chilli hit that complements a wide range of international cuisines. There are thousands of variations on this simple recipe, so if you’re feeling inspired to create a new tradition, feel free to add spices or flavours that you–or your family- love.  

You will need:

  • 1 Chinese (Napa) cabbage
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 inch (cubed) piece ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (optional- substitute soy sauce for a vegan Kimchi)
  • 2 tbsp sriracha chilli sauce or chilli paste 
  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 8 radishes coarsely grated
  • 2 carrots cut into matchsticks or coarsely grated
  • 4 spring onions finely shredded
  • Optional: Tbsp sesame seeds or 1 tsp sesame oil

Let’s cook!

Step 1
Slice the cabbage into one inch pieces. In a large bowl, mix the cabbage with 1 tbsp sea salt, before allowing this mixture to rest for one hour. 

Step 2
While the cabbage is curing, use a small bowl to mix the garlic, ginger, fish sauce (optional), chilli sauce, sugar and rice vinegar together to form a paste.

Step 3
Rinse the cabbage in a colander with cold running water.  Drain and dry well using kitchen towel. Place the rinsed cabbage in a large bowl with the radishes, carrot and spring onions, before adding the paste and mixing until the vegetables are well-coated. You might want to serve right away, or fill a large jar with kimchi until tightly packed–seal it up tightly and leave at room temperature overnight. 

Step 4
The next day, place it in the refrigerator to cool. The fermented Kimchi may be kept in the fridge for 2 weeks, where its flavour will continue to improve!

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