- 2 heads of Napa cabbage (or another Chinese cabbage variety), shredded in a food processor
- 5-10 scallions or spring onions (similar to scallions, only stronger and hotter in flavor), finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon crushed, fresh ginger or powdered ginger
- 2 jalapeños, minced fine
- 2 tablespoons crushed fresh red chili pepper
- Half an onion (optional)
- Culture Starter
- 2 tablespoons of honey or 1-3 scoops of EcoBloom as food for the microflora (see below)
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
- Remove several cups of this mixture and put into a blender.
- Add enough filtered water with the mixture in your blender to make a "brine" the consistency of a thick juice. Blend well and then add brine back into first mixture. Stir well.
- Pack mixture down into a 1½ quart glass or stainless steel container. Use your fist, a wooden dowel, or a potato masher to pack veggies tightly.
- Fill container almost full, but leave about 2 inches of room at the top for veggies to expand.
- Roll up several cabbage leaves into a tight "log" and place them on top to fill the remaining 2 inch space. Clamp jar closed or screw on air tight lid.
- Let veggies sit at about a 70-degree room temperature for at least three days. A week is even better. Refrigerate to slow down fermentation. Enjoy!
To use Body Ecology's Culture Starter:
- Dissolve one or two packages of Culture Starter in 1½ cup warm (90°) water. Add some form of sugar to feed the starter (try Rapadura, Sucanat, honey, Agave, or EcoBloom).
- Let starter/sugar mixture sit for about 20 minutes or longer while the L. Plantarum and other bacteria wake up and begin enjoying the sugar. Add this starter culture to the brine (step 3 in the instructions, above).
A Note About Sugar, Salt and Spice
Are you wondering why honey or some type of sweetener would be used in this recipe?
The reason is that healthy microflora actually need food to grow, just like us. Microflora like sweets, like sugars, and they "eat" the sugar up in the fermentation process, leaving us with all the healthy benefits of fermented foods.
To learn more about feeding healthy microflora with prebiotics, read: How to Make Your Gut Most Inviting to Healthy Probiotics
Many kimchi recipes have large amounts of chili powder, salt and other spices that can inhibit the growth of healthy microflora in the initial stages of fermentation. At Body Ecology, we believe that the most potent method of fermenting foods is to use a starter culture. As for salt...we do love high quality sea salt - like the highly recommended Celtic Sea Salt -- but we add it after the veggies are fermented and before eating them (if desired). The end product is teeming with the beneficial microflora that aids our health and vitality.