Sarah’s Indian Kimchi


Sarah’s Indian Kimchi

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] T[/dropcap]his more unusual kimchi was inspired by this Sarah Wilson recipe. It’s just as easy to make as my Simple Crunchy Kimchi and has the added bonus of being a little bit more exotic in the flavouring department. If you can’t get your hands on daikon (a large Asian radish) just replace it with white cabbage.

This kimchi is lovely as a side to Indian food. It’s also good anywhere you want to add some crunch, a serve of veggies and / or a flavour explosion! I prefer it with the fenugreek seeds because they add a lovely Indian flavour. If you can’t find them it’s great without too!

makes 1 large jar (about 1L / 4 cups)
takes about 30 minutes active time + a few days fermenting

1 daikon
500g (1lb) carrots
3 teaspoons chilli flakes
5cm (2in) piece fresh turmeric, grated
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds (optional)
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 tablespoons fine salt

1. Get yourself a clean, dry jar about 1L (4 cups) plus an extra little jar in case you need it.

2. Wash your diakon and carrots. Grate them using your food processor or a box grater and your muscles. Place grated veg in a large bowl.

3. Add chilli flakes, turmeric, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and salt to the veg. Toss with clean hands and cover with a tea towel. Stand at room temp to allow the salt to soften the veg. I leave it at least an hour but you could leave overnight.

4. Pack diakon carrot mixture into your large jar. I use a combo of clean hands and a spoon. You want to really squash it down to release the juices. If it won’t all fit, put the extra in your backup jar. Leave a little room at the top of each because it will expand as the fermentation happens. Divide leftover juice from the bottom of the bowl between your jars. You want the cabbage to be covered by liquid. If there isn’t enough, top with a little filtered water. Top with lids.

5. Place your jar(s) on a plate to catch any juices that overflow (this happens frequently to me). Stand at room temperature out of direct sunlight for 2-3 days or longer.

6. Every day open the jar to release any gas. Once I can see evidence of bubbles I usually seal the lids and pop in the fridge. Typically this is on the 3rd day but in winter it might be longer and less in Summer. If you’re not sure, I’d err on the side of putting it in the fridge earlier. If you taste and decide it’s too bland you can always leave it out again to get more funk happening. But once it’s too funky there isn’t much you can do.

7. Keep in the fridge for a few months.

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no daikon – replace with 1/2 large white cabbage.

no turmeric – if you can’t find fresh turmeric, use 1 tablespoon turmeric powder. You can skip it but it give the kimchi it’s beautiful yellow colour.

no mustard seeds – you could substitute whole grain mustard or just skip it.

no fenugreek seeds – Fenugreek seeds are available from good spice suppliers or Indian grocery stores. You can skip it or add 1-2 teaspoons curry powder for some extra spice.

no chilli flakes – you can use any form of chilli you like, dried, powdered or fresh. Just err on the side of not enough spicy heat because you can always add more. And you could skip the chilli if you prefer a milder pickle.

different veg – shaved cabbage, regular radishes, grated beets, grated fennel, chopped bok choy, chopped green onion (scallions / shallots) can all be added.

salt – salt keeps the texture crunchy. So I tend to err on the side of more but you could try less if you needed to. I use finely ground Himalayan rock salt but any salt apart from Iodized salt is great. I’ve read the iodine can hinder growth of the lactic acid bacteria.

Prepare Ahead?

A must! Keeps in the fridge for months.

More Fermented Food + Gut Health Resources on Stonesoup

With love,
Jules x

ps. Tired of deciding what to cook?

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  • Thanks for the recipe, I am totally going to try this! But, and that is why I comment (I love all your recipes, sorry!) as a militant hippie/tree-hugging person, I would like to know why you use Himalayan rock salt – it is harvested/collected at great costs for the environment and does not have any extra nutritional benefits in the quantities a normal human uses. Sea salt or regular rock salt would probably work as well, with a clear conscience. Just nagging, sorry. :-/

    • Thanks Diandra!
      I wasn’t aware of the issues around Himilayian salt.
      The iodine in sea salt can inhibit the lactic acid bacteria so it’s not the best choice (altough it will work -just takes a little longer for the ferment to get going). Uniodised salt would be the best option

  • Great recipe!
    Why do you call it kimchi though? None of the specifications of kimchi used: no soaking, no usual seasoning paste, no usual spices..

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