(Not so) Spicy Kimchi

After receiving some yummy spices in the mail last week I decided to whip up a batch of kimchi. I have tried previous times to make it with limited success. The first recipe that I had tried was good but it wasn’t really a true kimchi it was more of a vegetable kraut and I shredded everything MUCH to small. The second time I made it I followed the recipe in Wild Fermentation, it was good but it wasn’t the vibrant red colour I have seen in traditional kimchis.

Once my spices arrived I got right to work. I had a ~2.5lb napa cabbage that I removed the core and cut into chunks along with some sliced daikon, and sliced carrots. I weighted it down and soaked it in a brine (as described in WF) for several hours until the cabbage was nice and wilted and the vegetables were soft.  I made a paste with some garlic, korean chilies, ginger, fish sauce and scallions. I drained the vegetables, mixed with the spices and shoved it into a jar and let it sit. I left mine for about 3 days (it was very hot here) to reach my desired taste. You can leave it longer it is just my personal preference. It was lovely it hissed and spewed brine all over by the result was a nice tangy kimchi that had a hint of spice (and a LOT of garlic, next time I won’t be some heavy handed with the garlic).

I was given the recipe for the kimchi by the same wonderful friend who sent me the spices. I am in love with it!

Spicy Kimchi (makes approximately 1.5L) (modified from Wild Fermentation)

  • 1 head of nappa (or Chinese) cabbage (2-3lbs)
  • 1 or 2 Carrots
  • 1 daikon
  • 3 or more scallions
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1″ long piece of ginger
  • 2 tbsp Korean chili powder (more if you want it spicy)
  • 1-2tbsp fish sauce
  • Salt
  • Water
  1. Core and cut the cabbage, slice the daikon, and carrots and add to a bowl. Add salt and water to make a brine (I used about 3 tbsp of salt and enough water to cover everything). Weigh the vegetables down so they stay under the brine and let sit for several hours or until soft and wilted. Drain, reserving some of the brine.
  2. Grate the ginger and chop up the garlic. Mix together with the Korean chili powder and the fish sauce. Add in the chopped scallions.
  3. Drain the vegetables and reserve some of the brine, mix the spice paste with the veggies until thoroughly mixed. Pack into a 1.5L jar or into a quart and a pint jar, pressing hard so the brine comes up over the vegetables and weigh down the veggies to keep them submerged. (Do this wearing gloves otherwise your hands will be quite spicy!)
  4. Ferment the kimchi in a corner or your kitchen out of direct sunlight. If you are using a jar that does not have a gasket or an airlock make sure you burp them as a lot of gas is produced. Place them on a plate or a towel to catch any drips that might stain your counter. Start tasting them at 3 days until they reach your desired level of sourness, then transfer to the fridge.

I made my kimchi in a fido style jar (bail top with a rubber gasket), it is self burping and every so often on days 2 and 3 we would hear a hissing or gurgling sound coming from the jars as the pressure was released. For some reason each time this happen my 3 year old went into hysterics, she thought it was so funny.

So there you have it, simple, easy, delicious not too spicy kimchi.

Shared as part of Traditional Tuesdays and Fight Back Friday.

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Green Monster Smoothie

I’m not entirely sure where this smoothie got it’s name, I guess this is what you get when you let your toddler name the drink.  This is my most favourite summertime (or any time drink).  It has everything the ultimate taste combination: bananas and peanut butter. The only taste that beats this is bananas and chocolate or peanut butter and chocolate.  Anyways on to the smoothie.

To make this wonderful drink I put the following in a Mason Jar:

1 Banana
1/2 cup yogurt
3 tbsp peanut butter
1 1/2 cups of milk (any kind)
1 tsp honey (or more)
1 handful of Spinach (or other greens)

Blend until smooth.  I use spinach in this recipe because it is pretty mild tasting.  Some times I switch things up and use a different kind of green or add some raw cocoa powder.  It is a nice drink any time!  Everyone in my family loves this drink. I hope you will give it a try!

No Fail Banana Muffins

My toddler’s favourite food is muffins (and crackers).  If I let her she would live off of just muffins and crackers.  I have several favourite recipes for muffins but my absolute favourite is a muffin recipe that has been passed down from my grandma, to my mom to me and hopefully to my grandchildren (but not for MANY years).  These muffins are Banana Chocolate Chip, by far one of the best combinations around.  I call these no fail muffins because it is pretty hard to screw them up!  I know this because I started to make these the other day and got partway through only to discover that we were missing a number of the ingredients.  But I made a few adjustments and kept going.

No Fail Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

3 Large Bananas
1/2 cup white sugar
1 Egg
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
chocolate chips

Mash the bananas with a fork.  Add in the sugar and egg, stir and then add in the melted butter.  Once mixed add in the dry ingredients.  Once all the dry ingredients have been incorporated into the batter fold in the chocolate chips.

Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

I didn’t put a measurement in for the chocolate chips it varies each time I make it.  Generally I use 1/2 a cup or more but it all depends on how many I have in the cupboard.  I also generally use 2 bananas since that is generally how many are left in the bunch when they start to get spots on them perfect for baking.

This week when I made the muffins I didn’t realize that I was out of everything.  I only had milled flour in the house (from the first time I used my mill and it was the texture of corn meal, I have since learned how to use it properly), I also only had honey, 2 bananas and no chocolate chips.  I used an organic chocolate bar chopped up.  Still they turned out great!  If you do use honey for this recipe I would recommend scaling back the quantity because it is a bit sweeter than the sugar.

I hope you enjoy these muffins as much as we do!