Kate Gibbs is a food and travel writer, author, cook and new mother living in Sydney, Australia. She cooks whole food that makes us healthy and happy, and travels to find the best in style, food and hotels.

{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.

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