Kimchi (pronounced Kim-Chee) is a traditional Korean dish made with fermented vegetables. The most widely available kimchi here in the United States is made with Napa Cabbage, ginger, garlic, scallions, and hot red pepper.
Kimchi has a strong flavor that people generally either love or hate – I am firmly in the “love it” camp! I have tried (and tried, and tried!) to make it at home, but my efforts never seem to end well. I’ve researched many methods and recipes, but for some reason I get hung up at the fermentation process. It just never works out the way it’s supposed to somehow…
The first time I tried to make Kimchi, Mr. Hungry had to take the crock I fermented it in out to our back woods because the smell was so heinous. I’m surprised the neighbors didn’t call the cops to report a “suspicious odor” coming from our yard! That was two years ago – the empty crock is still out there somewhere, and even now I’m afraid to go find it and look inside.
Recently I tried again, and after this latest attempt to make my own kimchi the kitchen reeked for days (and the kimchi still never fermented properly!) My compost pile enjoyed it though, and is likely close to achieving sentience by now, thanks to all of that bacteria.
So while I don’t like to think of myself as a quitter, for now I’ve accepted defeat on making the real thing. However, I did discover that if I put all of the elements together it makes an excellent Kimchi salad, which gives me the delicious flavors of Kimchi, without the hassle (and demoralizing effects of yet another failure!) of the fermentation process. And while it won’t provide all of the health benefits of the bacteria-laden original, it’s still loaded with enough vitamins and phytonutrients to make it a nutritional powerhouse – all for less than 100 calories per generous serving!
Did I mention that it’s delicious? Tangy, spicy, and a little sweet, this kimchi salad goes perfect with any asian meal! Or you can try it on a burger or a pulled pork sandwich if you’re looking for something a little different (try it bunless or with a low carb flax bun if you are low carb and/or gluten free). If you’re like me, you’ll be eating it straight out of the bowl as soon as it’s done – just make sure you save enough for everyone else to try!Print
- 1 large head of Napa Cabbage
- 4 cups of water
- 1 ½ cups kosher salt
- 6 cloves garlic
- 3 Tbl chopped ginger
- ½ cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup korean chili powder (or substitute cayenne)
- 2 Tbl granulated sugar substitute
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 6 scallions, sliced
- 3 Tbl radish, sliced
- Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Separate the leaves and place in a large bowl. Mix the salt and water together and pour over the cabbage, making sure all of the cabbage is submerged. Marinate the cabbage for 1 to 2 hours. Drain and rinse the cabbage thoroughly. Place in a colander and press down to get as much liquid out of it as possible. Meanwhile, combine the garlic, ginger, fish sauce, chili powder, sugar, and sesame oil in a small blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Place your cabbage into a large bowl and toss with the sliced scallions and radish. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well to ensure all of the leaves are coated. Marinate for at least one hour before serving. This salad will keep and improve for up to a week in the fridge.
Approximate nutrition info per serving: 64 calories, 2g fat, 4g net carbs, 4g protein
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