Kimchi is a unique and traditional fermented ethnic food of Korea, which consists of cabbage, salt, vinegar, and various spices.
Although you can readily purchase kimchi in stores, it is often loaded with ingredients that aren’t beneficial to the body, and can be incredibly high in salt. By making your own, you can control how much salt you add, and you can also add other vegetables to increase flavour.
Kimchi is an excellent source of probiotics. As a result of fermentation, kimchi provides beneficial Lactobacillus bacteria that is essential for a healthy gut and digestive system.
Cabbage is already incredibly nutritious in and of itself. It is an excellent detoxifier and anti-inflammatory. Fermenting cabbage only enhances the nutrition, helping prevent diabetes, obesity, ulcers, and reducing the risk of certain types of cancer.
Some of the benefits of kimchi include:
1. Improved gut health (beneficial bacteria)
2. High levels of antioxidants (anti-inflammatory, immune strengthening)
3. Immune system strengthening
4. Reduced growth of cancerous cells
5. Slows down the aging process (thanks to high levels of antioxidants)
6. Lowers blood sugar levels
7. Weight loss (improving gut health naturally boosts metabolism to prevent weight gain or promote weight loss)
The health benefits of kimchi are endless, and consuming it should definitely be apart of your diet. The recipe below is delicious, and you can experiment by adding in other vegetables you have a strong preference for.
– 2 heads organic napa cabbage, shredded
– 2 tbsp. sea salt
– 5 scallions, finely chopped
– 3 cloves garlic, crushed
– 1 tsp. fresh ginger
– 2 jalapeños, minced
– 2 tbsp. red chili pepper, crushed
– 1/2 onion
– 2 tbsp. raw unpasteurized honey
– 1/2 nori sheet, torn into small pieces
*Use enough water to cover the cabbage
1. Place cabbage and salt into a large bowl. Use your hands and massage salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften a bit, and then add water to cover the cabbage. Place a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy like a jar of can or beans. Let it stand for 1-2 hours.
2. Rinse the cabbage under cold water 3 times, and drain in colander for 15-20 minutes. Rinse and dry the bowl you used for salting, and set aside for use in step 4.
3. Make the kimchi paste by combining the garlic, ginger, jalapeños, red chili pepper, onion, honey and nori.
4. Return the cabbage to the bowl along with the scallions and kimchi paste.
5. Using your handles, work the paste into the vegetables until thoroughly coated.
6. Pack the kimchi into a large mason jar, pressing down on it until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave at least 1-inch of headspace. Seal the jar with the lid.
7. Let the jar stand at room temperature for 1-5 days. You may see bubbles inside the jar and brine may seep out of the lid, so just place a bowl or plate under the jar to help catch any over-flow.
8. Check the kimchi once a day, pressing down on the vegetables with a clean spoon to keep them submerged under the brine (this also helps release fermentation gases). When the kimchi tastes perfect to your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator. It’s good to eat right away, but its best after another 1-2 weeks.