Kimchi, And A Lot Of Hard Work

The farm has been a whirlwind of activity for the last few weeks. Late May through early June is always characterized by the frantic rush to transition everything from winter to summer. We’ve finally done it, though. Weeds have been wacked. Compost has been hauled from here to there.  Garden beds have been tilled and prepared for planting.  The irrigation system is back up and running. Starts have moved from the greenhouse to the ground. Seeds have been planted. The tomatoes are caged and the peas are trellised.  Flowers are blooming. Fruit trees are growing and ripening. The hens are starting to lay eggs like crazy.In another month, when we harvest all of the garlic, onions, cabbages, lettuce and peas, we’ll have another big round of work. Until then, though, I can breathe easy knowing the bulk of the gardening work is finished. (Now I’m switching to jam! I’m driving to the city this weekend to shop all the big farmers markets for berries and other fruit. I’m on a search for good, sweet organic strawberries and I think I’m going to have to leave town to find the organic part, unfortunately. That’s a story for another day, though.)

Despite the fact that I haven’t been cooking a whole lot, I want to share the one preserving recipe that I’ve been making over and over again. It’s so simple that you can make it even if you’re working back-breaking long hours and don’t even have time to bathe properly.

kimchi with savoy cabbage and garlic scapes

Whatever-Kind-Of-Greens-You-Have Kimchi, an adaptation of Ramp Greens Kimchi from the Hungry Tigress

I got the idea for this from the Tigress, who made a fantastic looking ramp greens kimchi. We don’t have ramp greens here but we do have lots and lots of other kind of greens. I particularly like this kimchi recipe because it’s vegan; a lot of recipes have anchovy paste or fish sauce in them. I don’t have any issue with those products but I’m a tired farm girl and I am not in the mood to drive to town for anchovy paste.

This recipe will work with pretty much any greens you have. I’ve made it with savoy cabbages, kale, garlic scapes, and rainbow chard.  I would avoid traditional types of cabbage because the leaves are so thick, but napa cabbage, collard greens, boy choy and mustard greens would all be fine.

Equipment needed: 2 quart jars

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. greens such as savoy cabbage or rainbow chard
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 dried cayenne peppers, crushed
  • 1 tbs. paprika
  • 1 tbs. fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tbs. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. unrefined peanut oil (or toasted sesame oil)

1. Sterilize two quart jars.

2. Wash greens and roughly chop into 1/2″ strips. 

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the greens. Mix together thoroughly. Add the greens to the bowl and mix well, making sure to coat everything evenly.

4. Divide the greens between the two jars. Loosely screw on lids and leave unrefrigerated overnight. The next day, give each jar a good shake. Put them into the fridge for a week to lightly ferment the greens. Each day or so, take the jars out and give the jar a shake and stir up the greens a little bit so that the ones on the top of the jar eventually end up at the bottom. The greens will shrink down and if you’ll probably want to combine them into one jar after a 4-5 days.

5. In about a week, the kimchi is ready.  You’ll know because the greens smell slightly sour and you won’t be able to resist digging in any longer.  Eat it in sandwiches, wraps, salads, as a side dish with stir fry or rice, or all on its own.  You will love it, I guarantee.

rainbow chard kimchi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 responses to “Kimchi, And A Lot Of Hard Work

  1. Ive been looking for new things to do with the swiss chard I grow every year.This recipe sounds wonderful,definately a must try.Thanks for posting.

  2. Oooh I love the look of this vegan kimchi! Thanks for the recipe :-)

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  4. Just used this recipe on the tons of bok choy a friend gave me that I couldn’t figure out what to do with! I was about to give up and toss it in the compost when I saw this recipe and after only sitting for a few hours it’s delicious! I can’t wait a few more days to dig in. I doubled the recipe and had maybe 6lbs of greens (and stems too, I cut them maybe 1/4″) to work with, working in 2 batches…i didn’t really measure but used red chili flakes and cayenne pepper and upped the amount of sesame oil. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I’m actually in Korea where all the usual ingredients are available, but I thought I’d give this recipe a try with some regional greens. I wonder how it compares in taste to the usual seafood based kimchi. I guess I’ll know in a week. thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • I think it’s a distinctly different taste, but both are insanely delicious. I’m glad you’re giving it a try… and I’m imagining what regional greens you have! I had greens in thailand that are like my long lost true love… I have no idea what they were but it was the best stir-fried greens that I’ve ever had in my life. (the woman called them “morning glory” but here in the US no one has a clue what I’m talking about).

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  7. “morning glory” greens are probably sweet potato leaves!

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