Sunday, December 30, 2012

Kimcheelicious Rewards: Home Fermentation Kit

Curiosiety won't kill this cat. Chela likes the shiny foil packs in this kimchee making kit.

These tools and ingredients are essential for making kimchee.
What’s in that box? My new assistant, Chela the Cat, wants to know (Phillip is on vacation). This is the top Kimcheelicious Reward, the kimchee home-fermentation kit. Kimchee is traditionally fermented in large clay jars (known as ongi) which are partially buried in the ground over the course of winter. This isn’t very practical in most urban setting.

But did you know you can make it in your own refrigerator? Lactic acid bateria (LAB) is what turns milk into cheese and meat into hard cured sausage. It also turns Napa cabbage into spicy kimchee. Although LAB does most of the work, this starter kit includes the tools and basic ingredients that are essential to making your own kimchee. Detailed instructions for mak kimchee are included in this kit. Mak kimchee is the “salad style” kimchee that you find in Asian markets. The Korean word “mak” is akin to the word easy. It takes less time to prepare and ferment than the more traditional whole-head kimchee.

This kit includes:
  • Two 16 oz mason jars for cold storage
  • 4 1/2" wide-mouth funnel for jarring
  • Stainless steel tamper for removing air pockets
  • Two pairs of vinyl food-grade gloves to protect your hands
  • 8 oz fermented Korean chili paste (gochuchang)
  • 8 oz fermentation starter with ginger, radish and garlic (LAB)
  • 5 oz sea salt for conditioning and brining the cabbage
  • 3 oz Korean chili flakes (gochucaru) for adding more heat
  • 1 oz toasted sesame seeds, and essential flavor to Korean food
Aside from the vacuum-sealed goods included in this kit, you’ll need a few fresh ingredients. Most of the tools you might already have in your kitchen. Gather these in advance:
  • 2 1/2 to 3 lb Napa cabbage
  • scallion greens
  • a non-large reactive bowl
  • a large colander
  • paper towels
  • cutting board
  • sharp knife
  • shelf space in your refrigerator
  • helper cat (optional)
Your mak kimchee will be ready in about two weeks, although for those who prefer a more crisp texture you can have in in just one week. Kimchee can store cold for up to 6 months, but as it ages it develops a flavor that is more tart than savory. The only thing that can prevent this is... eating and making more kimchee.

The Kimcheelicious ePUB cookbook is a project that was made possible by the generosity of contributors and Kickstarter.

The essential tools and ingredients are included in this kit, but you'll need a few things.

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