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  • Karen Buch RDN, LDN

Making Kimchi & Other Fermented Foods at Home

Interest in fermentation is on the rise in the nutrition world because different strains of lactobacilli (good bacteria) produced during fermentation may help to strengthen the immune system and positively impact the gut’s microbiome. Have you ever thought about fermenting your own food at home? Small batch, home fermentation has never been easier.

You can use Kraut Source™ mason jar kitchenware to make a variety of fermented foods. The compact stainless steel unit comes with two FDA food-grade silicone rings and is dishwasher safe. It fits onto any wide-mouth glass mason jar (purchase separately) to allow both large and small batch fermenting. The unit keeps the ingredients submerged in salt brine and allows for an airtight seal; both are essential elements to allow the fermentation process to occur. The product retails for $30.00 and comes with an instructional booklet and instructions on how to download web-based recipes to make sauerkraut, kimchi and more.

Kraut Source really makes it easy and foolproof to ferment your own foods at home. I tried making this Traditional Kimchi recipe using Kraut Source™ (which was provided to me free of charge for the purpose of review). After filling a quart-size, wide mouth Mason jar with the ingredients (including iodine-free salt and filtered water) and affixing the unit as directed, my kimchi was ready to eat within 5 days (although, as noted, allowing it to ferment for 14 days is even better!)

Kimchi ingredients

  • 1 head Napa cabbage, weighing about 2 lbs.

  • 1/4 cup Celtic Sea Salt®, or other high-quality sea/mineral salt

  • Filtered water

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger

  • 1 teaspoon Sucanat or turbinado sugar

  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce

  • 1 - 3 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (*gochugaru )

  • 8 ounces daikon, peeled and cut into small dices

  • 4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1. Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2-inch wide strips.

2. Place the cabbage and salt in a large bowl. Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften, then add enough water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy, such as a can of beans, or a mason jar filled with water. Let stand for 1 hour.

3. Rinse the cabbage under cold water and drain in a colander for about 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, combine the garlic, ginger, sugar, and fish sauce in a small bowl and mix to form a smooth paste. Mix in the gochugaru ( 1 tablespoon for mild, or up to 3 tablespoons for hot)

5. Combine the cabbage, daikon, and scallion with the paste. Mix everything together with your hands. (Gloves are highly recommended to protect your hands from chili stings, and smell.)

6. Pack the kimchi into a quart-size mason jar, pressing down on it until the vegetables are at the shoulder and there is about 1” brine above the top of the vegetables.

7. Place your Kraut Source™ system on the jar. Your kimchi is ready in 3 – 5 days.

If you decide to give this product a try, please share your experience. Comment below, tag us on facebook or tweet us using #FoodNewsReviews. For recipes, fermentation tips, tutorial videos and more info visit:


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