Cari's Sauerkraut and Kimchi
A couple of weeks ago we had the privilege of being a part of the Food Independence Summit. This event brought together people who want to learn more about living a sustainable life or those already practicing homesteading. Realizing that food independence is critical and by learning what you can do, what you can grow and how to preserve what you have ensures you have the food you need.
Our own Daniel Laudon was a featured speaker on the last day of the event. His key takeaway was that the closer you are to your food source the better off you will be. For those who can’t grow their own—knowing the farmers who do. By talking/questioning farmers about everything from the seeds they are using through the harvesting of the crop. Know what is happening to your food!
Daniel’s mom, Cari spent the Summit teaching. She taught us how to make kimchi and sauerkraut. Giving background information about how good fermented foods are for gut health. Full of beneficial bacteria, probiotics, and microorganisms our body needs.
Sauerkraut is Low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, like iron and magnesium. Sauerkraut has been around for ages, it is believed to be one of the oldest traditional foods dating back longer than 2,000 years.
Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean side dish that is made from vegetables with added spices like ginger and garlic. Kimchi can be added to everything and is easy to make. Cari told us that Daniel Sr. eats his on sandwiches with refried beans and thousand island dressing or on toast with a layer of mayonnaise with garlic chopped in it. Now I must admit, I was VERY hesitant to try kimchi. I am not the most adventurous eater. I was on board with sauerkraut. I don’t remember my grandmother making sauerkraut, I do clearly remember her having the big crock sauerkraut is fermented in and of course eating it. But kimchi—that is something else entirely!!! Way out of my comfort zone, if you know Cari, she was having none of that, even though I politely declined several times…she was quite persistent in her belief that I should try it. Hello, my name is Rena and I like kimchi. Not only did I like it, I plan to make it!! Moral of the story—listen to Cari and try it!!!
1 large head of shredded cabbage/5 pounds—Quantities approximate
1 tablespoon Real Salt
Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Slice or grate cabbage into thin ribbons. You can mix green and red cabbage.
Place cabbage into a large bowl and mix with 2 teaspoons of salt. Let stand for 10 minutes. This creates the fermenting brine for the cabbage. Option: Add other vegetables, grated carrots, onions, garlic, seaweed, greens, brussel sprouts, turnips, and beets. You can also add fruits like apples. Herbs and spices, caraway seeds, dill seeds, celery seeds and juniper berries.
With very clean hands, massage the cabbage for about 10 minutes to release juices.
Pack the cabbage mixture into a large glass food container/crock. Should be made in a larger container/crock with headspace it needs to prevent any overflow when fermenting. Add just a bit into the crock at a time and tamp it down. Tamping a bit in at a time helps to force the water out of the cabbage. Cover with a plate that fits snugly inside the crock or use a glass dish or jar filled with rocks to weigh it down. The weight keeps the cabbage submerged. Cover the whole thing with a cloth and a rubber band.
Place it in a cool spot in your kitchen. Check to make sure the sauerkraut is completely submerged in liquid, if the brine does not rise above the plate level add enough salt water (1T salt to 1C water) to bring it over the plate. Check cabbage every other day, the volume reduces as the fermentation proceeds. Skim off of any scum that may form on the surface.
Let stand for at least 2 to 4 weeks total. Then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Homemade Kimchi: An Easy Korean Sauerkraut Recipe
1 head Napa cabbage or savoy cabbage, cored and shredded
1 bunch green onions chopped
1 cup carrots shredded
1 tablespoon ginger fresh, grated
½ cup daikon radish, grated
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1 tablespoon Real Salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Starter Liquid – this can be whey, or liquid from a previous batch of sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented pickles, or even a previous batch of ginger carrots. If you don’t have any starter liquid, double the salt.
Start by shredding the cabbage, carrots, green onions, ginger and garlic.
Combine all ingredients in a medium or large bowl.
Cover with a tea towel and let sit at room temperature for 1/2 hour while the salt helps pull the juices out of the veggies.
With very clean hands, massage for about 10 minutes to release enough juice to cover vegetables.
Pack ingredients tightly in a quart-size, wide mouth jar, leaving 1" space at the top of the jar.
Add a lid, NOT airtight, and leave the jar on the counter for three days. Once you’re happy with the flavor, transfer to cold storage/refrigerator.
Cari these recipes and more...For a PDF of Cari's Recipes you can email or call us 1-800215-4372
There is room for experimentation when making these recipes—adapt them into a recipe that fits you and your family. If you come up with a great recipe—we would LOVE to hear from you!!!!