Kimchee Cucumber Pickles

cucumber kimchee

cucumber kimchee

Yes, you could say I’m a little obsessed with fermented foods right now.

And you could also say that these pickles are pretty damn delicious.

Think crunchy pickles crossed with your favorite jar of kimchi. Just the right amount of heat, sour and salt. Great for snacking, accompanying fish, poultry or meat or in a rice or noodle bowl.

Health bennies: 

  • Probiotic
  • Contains B vitamins, including B12
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Fights chronic inflammation
  • Helps maintain a healthy digestive system
  • Detoxifying

Learn more about fermentation here.

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Kimchee Cucumber Pickles

Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Servings 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Persian mini cucumbers sliced into 1/2 inch thick coins
  • 1 Tablespoon Sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Korean chile powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame seeds
  • 1/2 each Carrot grated (3/4 cup grated carrot)
  • 1 each Scallion sliced thin
  • 1 clove Garlic minced
  • 1 inch piece Ginger peeled & minced
  • 1 each Grape leaf
  • Cheesecloth
  • 1 quart mason jar

Instructions

  1. Toss the cucumber slices and salt in a bowl. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl. With clean hands or wearing latex gloves toss the mixture thoroughly with your hands to combine, lightly squeezing the cucumbers to release some of their juice.
  3. Pack the mixture firmly into a glass jar, pressing down so that the juices start to cover the cucumbers.
  4. Cover the jar with cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band or string.
  5. Let sit at room temperature for 3 days, then transfer to the refrigerator. The pickles are ready to eat at this point.

Recipe Notes

Need Korean Chile flakes? Try this
Need Liquid Aminos? Try this
Need Grape leaves? Try these

 

Sarah Burchard is the author of The Healthy Locavore, a natural foods chef and certified health coach whose writing centers around holistic health, supporting community and eating locally grown and made food.

Salvadoran Curtido

Curtido

One of my favorite late night spots to go to after work when I was in the restaurant business was this tiny Salvadoran place in the Mission district that served papusas. For anyone who doesn’t know what a papusa is, it’s a lovely little stuffed handmade tortilla filled usually with either cheese or a mixture of cheese, beans and pork. We’d get big bottles of beer and a table full of more papusas than anyone could actually eat. Papusas are always accompanied by a bottle of not-very-spicy hot sauce and a bowl of curtido – fermented cabbage and chilis. The combination of flavors and textures is heavenly. Catching a little buzz from the beer doesn’t hurt either.

A latino friend of mine has promised to teach me how to make papusas. So in return for the lesson I am bringing home-made curtido to the party. You know me, any excuse to get something fermenting on my counter.

Health bennies:

  • High in probiotics
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Detoxifying
  • Great for the digestive and immune systems
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Salvadoran Curtido

Servings 6 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 heads Green cabbage cored and sliced thin
  • 3 each Carrots peeled and grated
  • 2 each Jalapeños seeded and sliced thin
  • 1 each White onion sliced thin
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon Oregano dried
  • 4 % Sea salt The amount of salt you use will depend on the total weight of the vegetables

Instructions

Equipment needed:

  1. Scale
  2. Fermenting crock
  3. Weights that will fit inside the crock

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl weigh out the cabbage, carrot, jalapeño, onion, chili flake and oregano. Convert the total weight to ounces.
  2. Multiply that weight in ounces by .04. This will give you the amount of salt in ounces you need to add to your recipe.
  3. Weigh and add the salt to the vegetable mixture.
  4. With your hands massage the salt into the vegetables mixing thoroughly and squeezing firmly to release the cabbage's juices for about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Pack the mixture firmly into your fermenting crock and weigh down with weights.
  6. Make sure the vegetables are covered with at least 1-2 inches of liquid.
  7. If the vegetables are not covered, make enough brine to pour over them so that they are. (Brine = 1 teaspoon of salt for every cup of water)
  8. Cover and store on the counter at room temperature for 2 weeks.
  9. Transfer to jars with lids and refrigerate.

Sarah Burchard is the author of The Healthy Locavore, a natural foods chef and certified health coach whose writing centers around holistic health, supporting community and eating locally grown and made food.

Turmeric Daikon Pickles

Daikon pickles

I went out to dinner recently in the east bay and was inspired by a plate of pickles set in front of me at the beginning of the meal. Their offering included four different vegetables, all different colored and flavored with various spices. All of them were excellent but the one that jumped off the plate for me was the turmeric pickled daikon. It was crunchy, vibrant,  pungent and highly addictive. Being my predictable curious self,  I then had to go home and make my own.

These pickles are naturally fermented which brings on a whole slew of health benefits for your digestive system.

Health bennies:

  • High in probiotics
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Detoxifying
  • High in vitamin C
  • Contain enzymes that help your body break down starches
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Turmeric Daikon Pickles

Servings 1 quart

Ingredients

  • 1 each Daikon about 1 pound, peeled, split in half lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 clove Garlic smashed
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginger minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric ground
  • 1 teaspoon Korean chili flakes or regular chili flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons Sea salt
  • 1 quart Filtered water
  • 1 each Grape leaf can be out of a jar

Instructions

Equipment needed:

  1. 1 quart Mason jar
  2. Cheesecloth
  3. or thin linen napkin
  4. 1 Rubber band

Directions:

  1. Mix the daikon, garlic, ginger, turmeric, chili flake and salt together in a bowl.
  2. Pack the mixture into the mason jar, add the grape leaf and cover completely with filtered water.
  3. Cover the jar with cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band.
  4. Let sit on the counter for 7 days then transfer to the fridge.

Recipe Notes

Need Korean chili flakes? Try this!
Need Grape leaf? Try this!
Need Cheesecloth? Try this!

Sarah Burchard is the author of The Healthy Locavore, a natural foods chef and certified health coach whose writing centers around holistic health, supporting community and eating locally grown and made food.

Home-made Kimchee recipe

Kimchee recipe

Kimchee recipe

I’ve been making my own kimchee for a few of years now. (I’ve gotten used to the smell that comes out of the kitchen for a week during this process. LOL ).  It’s really easy and so incredibly good for you. And did I mention delicious?

The reason this food is so healthy for you comes down to one word, fermentation. In a world where everyone is trying to fight bacteria and sanitize our hands to death we forget one very important thing. Good bacteria, like the kind you find in fermented foods is essential to our digestive system and our heath. Eating processed foods, taking antibiotics and excessively cleaning our hands and homes with antibacterial soap changes your intestinal microflora, which weakens your immune system. Eating fermented foods introduces probiotics (microorganisms made up of bacteria and yeast) back into your gut.

Health bennies:

The power of fermented foods  –

  • Pre-digests food allowing your body to absorb all available nutrients
  • Can help remove toxins from foods
  • Creates probiotics that contain high levels of B vitamins
  • Strengthens your immune system
  • Fights inflammation
  • Helps you maintain a healthy digestive system
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Home-made kimchee

**Traditionally you would ferment the vegetables with squid or oysters. Since I am allergic to shellfish I use fish sauce instead.
Servings 2 quarts

Ingredients

  • 1 each Organic Napa cabbage outer floppy leaves removed, cut into 1 in" pieces
  • 3 each Organic carrots peeled & sliced thin
  • 1 each Organic Daikon radish peeled & sliced thin
  • 2 quarts Water
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt
  • 1 bunch Organic scallions
  • 10 cloves Organic garlic peeled
  • 1 - 3 " piece Organic ginger peeled
  • 5 1/2 Tablespoon Korean chili flakes Gochugaru
  • 2 Tablespoon Fish sauce
  • 2 Tablespoon Soy sauce

Instructions

  1. - Fill up a large ceramic crock with 1 gallon water and 1/2 cup kosher salt. Stir to dissolve. **You can use a glass container if you don't have ceramic.

  2. - Add cabbage, carrots, daikon and half of the scallions, chopped,  to the brine solution. Weigh down with weights or a plate so that the vegetables stay completely under the brine. Let sit at room temperature overnight.
  3. - The next day drain the vegetables reserving a cup of brine.
  4. - In a food processor puree the other half of the scallions, garlic, ginger, Korean chili flakes, soy sauce and fish sauce to create a paste.
  5. - Mix the paste thoroughly with the vegetables (use gloves if you have them to protect yourself from the heat) and pack firmly back into your ceramic (or glass) crock. The brine will start oozing back out of the vegetables (this may start right away or later). Weigh down the vegetables so that they stay under the brine like you did before. Cover with lid or cheesecloth. (The next day if there is not enough brine covering the vegetables you can add your reserved brine.
  6. - Store at room temperature for 1 week.
  7. - After a week transfer kimchee to glass jars and store in the refrigerator. Because of the preservation method of fermenting the kimchee it won't go bad, it just keeps getting more sour the longer you store it!

Recipe Notes

Need Korean chili flakes (Gochugaru)? Try this!
Need Fish sauce? Try this!
Need Soy sauce? Try this!
Need ceramic crock? Try this!

 

home-made kimchee
Vegetables mixed with chili paste before fermentation

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Sarah Burchard is the author of The Healthy Locavore, a natural foods chef and certified health coach whose writing centers around holistic health, supporting community and eating locally grown and made food.