FOOD TREND: KIMCHI AND FERMENTING
While pickling and fermenting was historically done out of necessity – to preserve, to aid digestion now chefs and cooks have realised its potential as a serious flavour enhancer and are getting increasingly creative. From cool kombuchas and punchy pickles to crunchy ’krauts, there’s a whole world of gut-friendly foods and drinks to try.
Kimchi, a staple in Korean kitchens, is essentially spicy lacto-fermented cabbage at its most traditional – with chopped, salted chinese cabbage, pepped up with garlic, ginger and gochugaru (Korean ground red pepper). Packed with probiotic bacteria and great for gut health (which essentially means good for your digestion) – it also tastes delicious as a side dish or condiment, but also as a central part of a meal – think stews through to stir-fries.
But there are plenty of ways to get that signature tang and crunch – and we’ve been experimenting in the olive test kitchen, inspired by new-wave fermenters. So here’s our cucumber version – it’s a good entry-level kimchi, if you’ve not tried it before, as it’s not too funky and is ready in less than 24 hours.
Try kimchi and other ferments at Scully
Click here to read our review of this new temple of ferment just off London’s Regent Street. Its weird and wonderful jars (pictured below) include rhubarb sriracha, green pickled peaches, dehydrated turnips, pickled blueberries, preserved lemons, umeboshi green strawberries, and leeks in ‘left-over’ champagne, olive oil and salt.
Cucumber kimchi recipe
- mini cucumbers 500g, halved lengthways
- flaky sea salt 2 tsp
- caster sugar 1 tsp
- apple ½, grated
- garlic 3 cloves, sliced
- ginger a thumb-sized piece, shredded
- gochugaru 2 tbsp, (see notes below)
- fish sauce 1 tbsp
- soy sauce 1 tbsp
- spring onions 3, shredded
Gochugaru is a Korean ground red pepper and is available from specialist grocers and online.
- Kcals 12
- Fat 0.3g
- Carbs 1.3g
- Sugars 1.2g
- Fibre 0.6g
- Protein 0.6g
- Salt 0.6g