We preserve lots of food for our residential school for the long season when stores don't have any fresh vegetables from December to May, because the roads to our region from warmer places are closed all winter. A Korean-American friend taught us how and we've made more and more every autumn, and it's never enough. It has turned out to be a super hit with the teenagers here (who already liked Indian pickles). We make it with whatever ingredients are readily available here.
• About 20 kg cabbage, cut into bite sized pieces. Normal round cabbage works fine; Asian cabbages would be more authentic
• 2 kg carrots and/or radishes, julienned (cut into narrow rectangular strips).
• Optional dark green cabbage leaves in strips for color, eg collards, kale, broccoli leaves.
• 200 g salt, then add more to taste. It should be lightly salty, like food.
Chop the vegetables in the morning, sprinkle the salt in and mix thoroughly. Leave aside in a container for a few hours, covered with cloth or a lid, so it wilts a bit.
• 800 g garlic
• 1 kg ginger
• 800 g chilli, a not very hot variety. It was big long Kashmiri chillies from the Karzhapa’s shop, with few seeds and gorgeous colour.
Chop the garlic and ginger fine and powder the chillies. Make a paste of them all together and smear thoroughly throughout the vegetables.
• a bunch of onion leaves (scallions), or thin slices of onion
Pack tight into clean containers (not metal since it could rust), layering the onions/scallions in from time to time. Cover as airtight as possible (not too strict), and stand in a warm place for about 4 - 7 days. We put it in our warm solargreenhouse int he day and back to the kitchen at night.
Taste, and when it’s nice and sour either eat soon, or put into cold storage for months. We wrap it in plastic and store it in the equivalent of a root cellar, and it comes out even more delicious after a few months.
(Oops, I'm sorry, this is a double post. I thought I'd posted it but searched the orum tonight and couldn't find much about kimchi so I posted it again. And then realised I must have searched "cooking" instead of "preservation")
Works at a residential alternative high school in the Himalayas SECMOL.org . "Back home" is Cape Cod, E Coast USA.
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