I know that kimchee comes in many flavours, and chinese cabbage is not a pre-requisite, but, lovely though this pickle is, I suspect if you presented it to a die hard, Korean, pickle fan they may snicker lightly. It’s a fridge pickle really, doesn’t have time to ferment as a true kimchee should, and it doesn’t use the proper korean dried chilli peppers. But, whatever, it’s a cracker of a fresh, zingy, lightly chillied relish.
Give it a go, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
I have only very slightly adapted this recipe, and the real credit needs to go to Australian House and Garden magazine, of all places.
- 4 or 5 small lebanese cucumbers
- 1/4 cup medium grain sea salt
- 4 stalks of kale (I used a mix of homegrown kale and mustard greens, and I prefer there to be more cucumber than greens)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- fresh chillies to your taste – we used about 3 hot and one milder, but hey, chilli is such a subjective thing.
- 2 tablespoons purreed/grated ginger
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon korean gochujang chilli paste (or you could use chilli powder if you really can’t find it)
Rinse the veggies well under running water until the saltiness is much reduced. They’ll have reduced in volume as the water has been drawn from them. Drain well.
Pack into a container and pour over the pickling liquid, pressing down to submerge fully. Leave at least overnight before using. I like to give it a bit of a turn whenever I take some out. Keeps in the fridge for a week or two.