Kaua‘i Style Kimchi with Locally-grown Napa Cabbage

Posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Kaua‘i Style Kimchi with ginger, turmeric and chili pepper

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to make and eat fermented foods! In my experience, they are a vitalizing food that can help boost immunity and aid in digestion. Easily made at home with simple, locally-grown  ingredients, this probiotic superfood can be eaten as a side dish or taken as a dietary supplement, supplying beneficial bacteria to the stomach.

Historically, kimchi has its roots in many Asian cultures. Although it is commonly known as a Korean food, the earliest records of kimchi are found in the Chinese poetry book, Shi Jing, written 3000 years ago!

Like its relative sauerkraut, kimchi, or some variation of it has been a staple in cultures around the world due in large part to its health-sustaining properties. Full of fiber and low in calories, kimchi is also high in vitamin C, B1, B2, calcium, iron and many lactic acid bacteria, which are produced during the fermentation process. Some studies have linked kimchee consumption to reduced cancer growth and resistance to and recovery from viral diseases.

The process of making kimchi greatly varies and can include many different ingredients. The most consistent ingredients are napa cabbage and sea salt. My recipe for Kaua‘i Style Kimchi, makes use of ingredients that are readily available and locally-grown. I like to include ginger and turmeric because of their anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting properties. Once the fermentation in finished, this recipe makes a great, spicy kimchi that can help knock out a sore throat or cold before it has taken hold—just take at the first hint of illness. The liquid may be drunk from the jar for the same purpose.

For maximum benefit I recommend eating homemade kimchi as a side dish or on its own at least three times a week—the more the merrier is my theory. Look for organic ingredients here at The Hut or at your local farmers market.

Kaua‘i Style Kimchi

makes 2 quarts

1 head napa cabbage

1 3-inch piece of turmeric (more or less to taste)

1 5-inch piece of ginger (more or less to taste)

2-4 tablespoons crushed red pepper or Hawaiian chili (more or less to taste)

2 tablespoons unrefined sea salt or Hawaiian salt

filtered water

Chop all ingredients and place in bowl with sea salt and chili (leave water out). Take a sturdy cup or jar and pound all the ingredients down, mixing as you go. Keep pounding until ingredients have compounded and juices are released. Next, stuff ingredients into two quart-sized mason jars. Fill jars with water so there is just enough to submerge the ingredients when they are pressed down. There should still be about an inch of space at the top of each jar. Wipe the mouths of each jar. Seal and place in a dark cupboard at room temperature for about five to seven days. Transfer to refrigerator for another two to four weeks before consuming. Kimchi will last for up to a year or more in the refrigerator and the taste gets better with age. After you have gotten comfortable with the process, try experimenting with different ingredients. I generally try to keep at least two jars on hand for my own consumption, so I am usually fermenting a new batch every month or so. Fermentation can be a fun and exciting experience to add to your monthly routine. Enjoy!

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Author | shastin

I am an aspiring artist, chef and free-thinker. I am into health, organic local food, nature, art, music, reading, writing etc…:-)

One Response to “Kaua‘i Style Kimchi with Locally-grown Napa Cabbage”

  1. joe rhodes says:

    I am now 80, when I was 19 I had my first experience with kimchii. I was in the Chorwon valley of Korea and G I food was terrible! I was amazed as to healthy the Koreans were eating only rice, cabbage and dried fish. Being sick of C Rations I tried Kimchii and since retirement it has been a regular part of my diet almost on a daily basis. My recipe is similar except that I am forced to use powdered Tumeric. People roll their eyes when I tell them the secret to aging well!

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