Back to kimchi: like all naturally fermented foods, kimchi is a probiotic. It is loaded with friendly bacteria beneficial to the intestines. Apparently, chickens infected with avian flu recovered after eating food containing the same bacteria as that found in kimchi. Some also claim that kimchi protected Koreans from the SARS virus. A tablespoon of two of naturally fermented vegetables on a daily basis is all one needs to maintain healthy intestinal flora. Because kimchi is so delicious, it is easy to turn it into too much of a good thing. Always keep in mind that everything taken to the extreme turns into its opposite!
- 1 head nappa cabbage, chopped
- 1 small daikon radish, julienned
- 1 small carrot, julienned
- 3 green onion, thinly sliced, optional
- 1 clove of garlic or more or less, minced, optional
- 1" piece of ginger or more or less, minced
- 1/2 of a red hot pepper, more or less, minced, or cayenne, optional
- 2-3 Tablespoons of sea salt or 1 teaspoon per cup of water plus another (1) teaspoon
- Water, room temperature or cooler
Take the vegetables out of the bowl and place in a crock or jar (s). Work the paste through the vegetables. Add the green onions. Place a plate with weight on top of the mixture. Liquid should start rising to the top almost immediately and should cover the combination after a few hours. On the off chance that the liquid doesn't rise to the top of the vegetables top off with some of the soaking liquid (but wait about 8 hours).
Leave the container on the counter for about four days. Taste from time to time. And make sure that the vegetables remain covered with liquid. You can press the vegetables down once in a while with clean hands. After about four days (maybe more if your kitchen is cold in winter, maybe less if it's hot in the summer) when it tastes ready place the kimchi in jars and/or put lids on jars and refrigerate. The kimchi will not lose its flavour for a very long time once it's refrigerated.
Vegan Kimchi Soup
- 1/2 organic onion, thinly sliced in half moons
- 1 Tablespoon roasted sesame oil
- 1/2 cup sliced organic mushrooms or 2 previously soaked and sliced dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 1/2 carton of soft or silken organic tofu (sometimes hard to find in health food stores but the P.A.T. store has an organic brand which is very good), crumbled
- 1 cup homemade kimchi
- 1/2 cup chopped watercress, optional
- 2 chopped green onions, optional
- 4 cups water (approximately)
- 1 Tablespoons miso or to taste but the soup should not taste salty
Note: do not allow the soup to come to a boil after adding miso.