Make Your Own Kim-Chee

Homemade sauerkraut, kim-chee and other lacto-fermented foods are very beneficial to add to your plate. Lacto-fermentation happens when the starches and sugars in vegetables and fruit convert to lactic acid by a friendly lactic-acid producing bacteria. They contain probiotics, which help populate our guts with beneficial flora, keeping our immune system strong. If you’re not a fan of the sour taste, just keep eating a little at a time. I’ve found that many clients lose their taste for sweeter foods as they begin to develop a taste for more sour foods like lacto-fermented vegetables. For more information on how to make kraut and other fermented foods, check out Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. I had the opportunity to see him live at Boston University a few years back and it he is a wonderful speaker. If he comes to your area, please check out his presentation. If you’re thinking that you don’t want to mess with fermenting jars on your counter, and you don’t have a source for these veggies locally, you can order them online from my friend Caroline at Immunitrition.
Special Equipment:
  • Ceramic crock, one-gallon wide mouth jar,  food-grade plastic bucket
  • Plate that fits inside crock or bucket
  • A jar of water or something else heavy to put on the plate
  • Cloth cover – to prevent insects and dust from going in
1 red cabbage
1 green cabbage
1 bunch kale
half cup fresh dill
Two garlic cloves
Ten white peppercorns
Ten juniper berries
Two tbsp unrefined sea salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste, more if you like it hotter)

Memorial Day post workout bbq with shrimp and Kim Chee

Chop all the vegetables. You can use a grater or just a sharp knife. Mix the vegetables in a large bowl.  Pack into the crock and sprinkle with salt. Keep repeating this in small batches, packing down with your fist or a wood spoon. This will help force water out of the cabbage.
Put a layer in a large container or bowl sprinkle w salt, repeat until done. Use handle of wooden spoon to crush it down some and releaSe the juices. To speed the process along, add half a cup of juice from a previous batch of lacto-fermented vegetables (optional). Top off the jar with some water and place a plate on top. The plate is to hold the vegetables down inside the brine. Cover the plate with a cloth and a weight – a jar of water or a heavy can. For the first 24 hours, keep tamping the vegetables down every few hours, just to make sure everything is under water. Leave the jar in a corner in the kitchen and check on it every few days. If some mold appears on the top, remove as much as you can and clean off the plate. The vegetables are safe inside the brine, so don’t worry about any mold you see. Depending on how warm your kitchen is, the kraut/kim-chee is ready in about 2 weeks, but you can leave it longer if you wish. Once it has reached the desired flavor, cover with a lid and refrigerate. Some people prefer it 2 weeks old, others 3 months old. It’s up to you.