Fermented foods help populate the digestive system with probiotics and beneficial bacteria. This kimchi contains potent detoxifiers such as burdock root and daikon radish (which is currently in season), increasing the nutritive qualities. Spicy horseradish and chiles also aid detoxification and circulation. Many different combinations of vegetables and roots can be used in this recipe. For uniform cuts, use the mandoline to prepare the vegetables.
Serves: 1 quart
- 4 cups filtered water
- 3 Tbs sea salt, more if needed
- 2 cups daikon radish, thinly sliced, about 9 inches
- 2 cups turnips, thinly sliced, about 1 medium
- 1 cup carrots, thinly sliced, about 2 medium
- 1/4 cup burdock root, thinly sliced, about 8 inches
- 1/4 cup radishes, quartered, about 2 small
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 3 Tbs horseradish root, finely grated
- 2 Tbs ginger, freshly grated
- 1 Tbs fish sauce
- 2 Thai chiles, dried, sliced
- Mix a brine of water and salt; whisk thoroughly to dissolve salt.
- Soak daikon, turnip, carrots, burdock, and radishes in brine. Use a plate or other weight to keep vegetables submerged until softened, 1 1/2 hours or up to overnight.
- Using a mortar and pestle, mash scallions, garlic, horseradish, and ginger into a paste. Transfer to a small dish and stir in fish sauce. Set aside.
- Drain vegetables, reserving brine. Taste the vegetables for saltiness and either rinse or add more salt until they are moderately salty.
- Thoroughly mix vegetables with paste, add chiles, and pack into a clean 1/2 gallon jar. Press down until the brine rises, covering vegetables. If necessary, add reserved brine to submerge the vegetables. Weight the vegetables down with a smaller jar or zip-lock bag filled with brine. Cover the jar with a dish towel or cheesecloth to keep out dust and flies.
- Ferment in a warm place, tasting every day. After about a week, when it tastes fermented, seal with a lid and move to the refrigerator.