So I made kimchi. It’s loosely based on the method of Sandor Katz in Wild Fermentation:
My only regret is that none of the ingredients were home grown. Kimchi Fail. Nonetheless it’s very tasty and counts as something preserved that doesn’t need fossil fuels to preserve it (aka refrigeration).
I started with half a wombok chinese cabbage, sliced into shreds. Added grated carrot, a sliced red capsicum (for colour), sliced onion, finely chopped garlic and ginger and some red cabbage that had nearly reached its use-by date. Plus half a leek that was keen not to go to the worm farm. You can add chilli, but I’m not a chilli person. I would have added some home-grown sliced kale, but the rabbits….
Put the whole lot into a large bowl and mix (hands are good for this):
Make up a brine with 4 cups of water and 4 tablespoons of salt and pour over the vegetables. Push them down till the brine covers them and weight down with a dinner plate or similar. Leave for a few hours. I started mine late in the afternoon so left it on the bench overnight:
Drain off the liquid, reserving some to top up if required and pack the vegetables into a jar. Weight down again with what ever suits (I use a smaller jar filled with water) and push it down hard till liquid comes to the surface. Make sure all the vegetables are submerged:
Cover with a cloth or plastic bag and leave on the bench for a week or so while the fermentation proceeds. You can see the tiny bubbles of CO2 forming and they will rise to the top as you push down on the weight. Once it’s fully fermented, it’s ready to eat.
You can store it in the fridge if you really want to, or just leave it in a cool place.
Note: Sandor Katz recommends non-chlorinated water and non-iodised salt. Chlorine and iodine inhibit the fermenting bacteria.