Apple-fermented kimchi is easy to make at home, probiotic, super tasty and paleo.
My home-made kimchi has a twist. Usually kimchi is fermented with added rice porridge and sugar, but I prefer mine with extra nutrients minus the refined sweetener and starch. Instead, I use fresh apples, which are readily available during napa cabbage season. The apples add sweetness and aroma, and when pureed help to bind the other ingredients together like would the rice porridge.
Salting and washing whole napa cabbage and making rice porridge for the paste as in traditional recipes are also more labour-intensive. I have taken a simplified approach for this apple-fermented kimchi without sacrificing the taste.
The photos below illustrate the steps on a high level:
- Cut and salt the cabbage;
- Let the cabbage rest until the juice is released and the cabbage shrinks in size;
- Strain the juice from the cabbage, add the pre-cut daikon;
- Place all other ingredients in a food processer;
- Blend the ingredients well into a paste;
- Mix the paste with cabbage and daikon.
After all the ingredients are combined, I use a large mason jar as the fermentation vessel for my apple-fermented kimchi. The recipe makes about 2 quarts (half a gallon). As you can see in the next photo, I used a half-gallon mason jar to store the entire content of this recipe. Simply move the mason jar to the fridge when fermentation is complete. Remove the portion you desire from the mason jar when you are ready to serve.
Many more fermentation recipes are on my blog – fermented foods provide potent probiotics to aid digestion. You can try your hands on fermenting a variety of foods using just mason jars:
- Homemade Fermented Sauerkraut /w Caraway Seeds
- Pineapple-Turmeric-Ginger Probiotic Sauerkraut
- Wild Fermented Salsa
- Honey Fermented Garlic: A Natural Remedy for Cold and Flu
- Fermented Pickles /w Green Tea and Dill Flowers
- 11 Important Things To Know for a Successful Kombucha Brew
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Paleo Apple-Fermented Kimchi
- Remove end of the whole napa cabbage, cut the cabbage into quarters length-wise, then slice each quarter into half inch pieces. Use a kitchen scale to weigh the cabbage and make sure you have 4 lb. of pre-cut cabbage for this recipe.
- Place all the pre-cut cabbage into a large bowl. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sea salt and toss evenly into the cabbage.
- Let the salted cabbage sit for 3 to 4 hours, or until the cabbage pieces shrink in size and release a good amount of cabbage juice.
- Squeeze out as much cabbage juice as possible, and place the cabbage in a seperate bowl. Cut the daikon into small bite size, you can slice, dice or julienne. Add the daikon pieces into the same bowl with the cabbage.
- Put the rest of the ingredients, including garlic, apple, onion, ginger, fish sauce, red pepper powder, into a food processor.
- Blend all the ingredients in the food processor into a paste.
- Pour the paste into the bowl of cabbage and daikon. Mix the paste with cabbage and daikon until well combined.
- Transfer the kimchi mixture into a mason jar, or any glass jar or fermentation crock. Cover the container loosely to allow air pressure to escape. Let the kimchi ferment in a dark spot for up to 7 days. Gently press down the kimchi with a fork if the kimchi starts to rise up due to gas released during fermentation; take care of the fermentation so that it doesn't overflow. You can taste it along the way to check if the flavour is ready. If you live in a warm place, it may take less time to ferment. Move the kimchi to the fridge once fermentation is complete.
- I save the cabbage juice from above step 4. The cabbage juice is full of vitamins, but keep in mind it is very salty. I reuse it to make soup later on. The cabbage juice store well in the freezer for extended time.