Kimchi is made by lacto-fermentation — the process that also creates sauerkraut and traditional dill pickles. Kimchi can be adapted many ways, with a variety of vegetables. Traditionally made with cabbage, cucumber, radish, green onion, garlic, and ginger, it can be sweet, spicy, garlic-y, salty, or any combination. Radish kimchi is a new take on the traditional Korean ferment. It makes a marvelous complement to many foods and is delicious eaten on its own.
Here’s an easy recipe for Radish Kimchi from Berkeley maker Sarah Kersten. Though any fermentation crock can be used to make kimchi, the measurements below are specifically tailored to Kersten’s small and large jars. Having stone weights available to press down the ingredients is very helpful.
3 cups daikon radish (chopped into 1/2 inch cubes)
2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup chopped red onion
3 tbsp chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped ginger
2-3 tbsp Korean red pepper powder
2 inches kombu seaweed (tear into small squares, briefly soak in water)
Saltwater brine: 2 tbsp salt
9 cups daikon radish (chopped into 1/2 inch cubes)
6 cups chopped carrots
3 cups chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped garlic
3/4 cup chopped ginger
1/4-3/4 cup Korean red pepper powder
6 inches kombu seaweed (tear into small squares, briefly soak in water)
Saltwater brine: 5 tbsp salt
Combine all the ingredients (excluding the brine water) and transfer into the crock. If large cabbage leaves are available, it is helpful to layer them over the top of the fermenting vegetables.
Place stone weights over the vegetables. Add brine water, completely submerging the vegetables and weights.
Skim any floating vegetables off the brine surface. Seal the crock, and allow the vegetables to ferment for three to five weeks.