Over the years, I've become quite fond of the kimchi recipe I developed and always feel slightly saddened when I see my reserves get lower and lower. Kimchi easily takes the leaderboard amongst the several varieties of fermented vegetables I prepare each year. The textures, the heat, the funk, and the umami-packed flavors have become my most beloved condiment to enjoy with just about any meal. Shots of the brine alone feel like they nourish my entire being, and play an important role in my overall health strategy.
Focusing on local foods, I try to prepare all my vegetable ferments in the late summer/early fall while access to fresh vegetables is readily available from several markets and my garden. Come winter, I am happy to sit back from all the kitchen prep and simply enjoy the end results of a lot of hard work.
With that being said, I recently tried a batch of daikon radish kimchi and was rather pleased with the flavors and decided I would make a batch myself. With a root cellar loaded up with radishes and all the remaining ingredients on hand, I decided to give it a go and whip up a batch of spicy kimchi.
Winter Daikon Kimchi
For the Kimchi:
- 1 large daikon radish (1-1.25 pounds)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
For the Marinade:
- 1 large shallot, peeled, quartered
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled, chopped
- 2 heaping tablespoons fish sauce (Nothing beats Red Boat)
- 4 ounces water
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- several dried chilis (as many as you can handle)
- 2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (I used peach puree I canned last summer)
- 3-4 scallions, sliced on the bias 1/4 inch thick
- Peel the radish then cut into 1/2 inch dice. Put the chopped veg in a bowl then toss with the salt. Let stand while you prepare the marinade.
- Add the ingredients for the marinade into a blender then blend until well pureed.
- Mix together the daikon, marinade, and scallions until all are well coated.
- Transfer the mixture into a clean quart jar, pushing down on the vegetables to push the marinade up.
- Cover loosely then place in a warm spot away from direct sunlight. Agitate daily to assist fermentation and be sure to burp your lids as needed.
- Allow the radish to ferment for 4-5 days before transferring the jar to the fridge to continue building flavor for 1-2 weeks. Enjoy as you wish.