Fermented foods have always been fascinating to me. It all started with some fermented lemonade, fizzy and tangy. Do I remember exactly how it was made? Nope. The one thing that I do remember was that it was pretty easy to make. I think I was the only one in the family who actually liked it plain though.
I just love that tang that comes along with fermenting. It makes my jaw tingle, that is how I know if I am eating something delicious…I feel it in my jaw. But I have to admit there is just something a little weird about eating, or drinking, something that has just been sitting out on the counter for several days, it’s growing bacteria (beneficial bacteria, that helps with digestion), and maybe it’s starting to smell a little weird. But it’s the taste that really counts here, and as whatever you’re making sits on the counter doing its weird little fermentation dance, it’s building up some serious flavors that aren’t for the faint of heart.
Now all fermented foods are not created equal. I try very hard to forget an encounter with a kombucha drink that left me sick sick sick, during my eight hour deli shift. Blah.
This week we had some left over cabbage in our fridge. See Exhibit A.
This poor sad bit of cabbage was begging to be made into something triple flavorful. So I added some carrot, cucumber, and green onion. Loosely following a few recipes that I found online I made the seasoning for Kimchi. A palmful of crushed red pepper, a half inch of ginger and around 2 cloves of garlic both grated. No fish sauce? No problem. I just added some water.
I mixed it together without gloves, I don’t have any cuts on my hands so I didn’t have to worry too much about them stinging. I washed my hands right after I packed the kimchi into it’s jar so I could avoid stinky hands.
Ben has sworn that he won’t try it… so I will be attempting to sneak it into everything we eat for the next week. From what I can tell so far, this seems to be a pretty mild batch, so there is hope!