{recipe} kim chi, pickled cabbage

recipe_kim chi

They say people get addicted to this stuff. And sure enough not a day goes past when I don't stuff some into a soft tortilla with some sliced grilled chicken breast for lunch, have is as a (probably odd) accompaniment to sushi, pile some on a plate next to a tousle of noodles dressed in a ginger soy sauce. And so I make great jars of the stuff, tap and wait patiently for it to do its fermenting business for a few days, eat it, and then do it all over again. This is an essential salty fermented taco accompaniment, I believe. Made ahead a few days it’s great added to tacos or just served on the side of a Korean-spice spiked meal. As with any pickle, it gets more intense in flavour after a week or so.

Wash half a Chinese cabbage, trim and cut into about 4cm-sized pieces, then place in a large bowl.

Add 2 ½ cups water and ½ cup salt, toss to combine and marinate for 4-5 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally.

Drain salt water into a saucepan and bring to a boil, then cool completely. Mix wilted cabbage with 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tbsp minced ginger, ½ tbsp hot chilli powder, 2 tsp fish sauce, a pinch chilli flakes, 2 tsp caster sugar and 1 tsp rice wine vinegar.

Transfer to a 1 litre-capacity jar, cover with cooled cabbage water, seal jar and leave for 4 days and up to 6 months, until pickle has developed in flavour. Drain before serving.

TIP {do-ahead meals} Some foods actually benefit from being cooked in advance. Stews deepen in flavor, soups mellow, and a coffee-laced tiramisu is perfect dolloped into bowls a day late. Just set table, tweak meal, unwind.

Photograph by Kate Gibbs.