Kimchi has been around for ages, literally, it wasn’t just invented last year by some tattooed chef in Shoreditch, and it’s just one many great fermented things we can all make at home. This book will have you fermenting like a good’un in no time.
The book mostly covers lactic acid fermentation, this is when the probiotic bacteria present on vegetable skins begins to eat the sugars of the vegetable turning them into lactic acid, CO2 and a weeny bit of alcohol. The vegetables become tangy, sour and when eaten do good things for our gut bacteria too. And importantly, in the days before refrigeration, it made them last longer too
All that’s needed to get things moving is time, water, warmth, salt and no oxygen. There are some basics that need to be adhered to, but basically as Feifer says,’if you can chop vegetables, you can ferment them.’ You will of course need a few good jars, though.
She takes plenty of time at the start of the book to explain basics and basic mistakes that people often make at first as well as cover frequently asked questions. Chapter One proper though covers small batch lactic acid fermentation of pickles – Cumin Basil Beetroots, the marvellous Bahn Mi pickles from Vietnam and even, yes, Brussel Sprout pickles.
Chapter Two covers Kraut – sauerkraut of course but also Mirepoix Kraut, Preserved lemon and ginger kraut.
Then in Chapter three comes the Kimchi recipes, over fourteen from the basic Korean to radish kimchi and green bean too. All you need as a basic is the fiery gochugaru powder, available online especially from our pals at World of Zing.
Sauces, salsas and condiments can also be made the ferment way as shown in chapter four while in five comes Kvass – fermented drinks that are uber healthy usually made from beetroots but in the ten recipes here, not just. Celery kvass, anyone?
For those blessed with abundant veg from garden or allotment, fermenting offers an alternative to the freeze. Bulk fermentation in crocks is harder and yes, bulkier, but if you have the space then here are all the instructions, hints and tips.
This is a very inspiring book and I for one am already stocking up on glass jars ready to get into some kimchi creation this weekend. If I can then just grow a big bushy beard I’ll be opening my pop up restaurant the weekend after.