Linwell Farms Homemade Kimchi
Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish of fermented cabbage that typically uses Napa cabbage. An urban organic farm in Charlotte, North Carolina, Linwell Farms has modified traditional recipes for kimchi to allow for most ingredients to come from their garden. Originally a concrete pad behind a 3,300-square-foot home in the North Davidson (NoDa) neighborhood, Scott Lindsley and Joey Hewell saw a 15-bed growing space for vegetables.
They substitute tat soi and pak choi for the Napa cabbage, since growing time is significantly shorter (about 45-50 days) and these varieties grow well in their garden. For heat, they use one-half of the traditional crushed peppers — Korean red pepper powder or kochukaru is usually what gives kimchee its spiciness — with one-half crushed cayenne flakes they grow and grind themselves.
Some traditional kimchi also uses different versions of fermented fish or shrimp to help with the fermentation and add to the traditional flavor. Linwell Farms uses fermented shrimp or saeujeot. Both the shrimp and Korean red pepper powder can be found in local Asian markets.
2 lbs. bok choi, tat soi and/or pak choi *
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 large daikon radish, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
4-5 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces including the greens/tops *
1/4 cup Korean red pepper powder
1/4 cup crushed cayenne pepper *
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger *
4-6 minced garlic cloves *
2 tsp. Korean salted shrimp, minced
1 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
* items from the garden
Cut the tat soi and pak choi into 1-2-inch pieces. Include the spines. Place in a large mixing bowl and shake on about 1/3 of the salt. Toss with your hands until the parts are well coated. Let this sit for about an hour. Drain off the water, sprinkle on more salt and toss. Let this sit for another hour and repeat the whole process. In the end, you’ll want to drain and salt the greens 3-4 times then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight on the countertop.
After about 24 hours, drain the greens and place in a colander. Rinse thoroughly with cold water, tossing them with your hands and gently squeezing out the excess water. Place the rest of the ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix. Add the greens and mix thoroughly to coat all leaves.
Pack the mixture tightly in a glass jar, pressing it down to avoid air bubbles, and seal with an airtight lid. Place in a cool dark spot for 24 hours. Open the lid to allow gases to escape, reseal the lid and place in the fridge. Allow the kimchi to rest for at least another 48 hours before use. (Allowing it to ferment for one week will yield the best flavor.)
Recipe and photo courtesy of Linwell Farms.