Kimchi is a spicy, sour Korean vegetable condiment that is fermented with salt and seasonings. While most recipes today are packed into glass jars and kept in a cool dark area, historic renditions were often stored underground during the fermentation period. Early preparations of kimchi were simple, made only of cabbage and beef stock. Today there are hundreds of recipes, some prepared with a single ingredient such as Napa cabbage or radishes, while others feature a combination of different vegetables, including cabbage, daikon radishes, scallions, carrots, and cucumbers. European contact in the 1500’s lead Koreans to the discovery of the red chili which found its way into the preparation of kimchi and continues to be an essential ingredient in modern recipes. Other common seasonings include ginger, lemongrass, fish sauce, garlic, and Saeujeot – a salted brined shrimp.
Recently Ellie Markovitch visited 9 Mile Farm where she spent a few hours packing up bags of Bok Choy, Napa cabbage, Mustard leaves and peppers. The resulting end-of-season bounty was turned into a huge batch of kimchi.
“My mouth waters just thinking about those jars of kimchi in my fridge now. The next best thing to eating them, is sharing them. I posted a photo of my kimchi jars on Facebook to see if anyone would make a trade with me and now I am trading kimchi for jam, hot peppers, eggs, dried apples and pancake mix! I also got requests for the recipe.
My kimchi inspired recipe includes information from books – (wild fermentation), online recipes (fermentation on wheels), friends’ recipes, and lots of practice and tasting. This recipe is fish-free and uses very little hot pepper, but you could add both if you like. I love having fermented veggies to incorporate into other recipes or to serve as a side dish for my family.”
Chef Ellie Markovitch's 9 Mile Farm end-of-season kimchi is delicious and easy to make.