Yields about 1 ½ quarts
2 ½ pounds cucumbers, sliced or Napa cabbage, cut into approximately 2 inch squares (or experiment with other vegetables!)
2 teaspoons fine sea salt or pickling salt
3 scallions cut into 1 inch pieces
½ carrot grated or julienned, optional a small handful of grated or julienned radish, optional
¼ cup Korean Red Pepper Powder OR to taste, optional
1 ½ teaspoons of fish sauce, optional 2-3 Tablespoons sugar (I use unbleached organic), optional
1 ½ teaspoons grated ginger
¾ teaspoon chopped garlic a couple of drops of toasted sesame oil or sesame seeds, optional
Toss your cut vegetables with your sea salt in a glass or stainless steel bowl and set
aside for a couple of hours, tossing once or twice during that time.
While your vegetables are macerating in salt, combine the seasoning paste
After a couple of hours, you vegetables should be soft, lower in volu
me, and should
have thrown off a good bit of liquid. Using your hand as a strainer, dr
ain off a bit of
the brine that has pooled in the bottom of the bowl.
Next, combine your seasoning paste with your salted vegetables and mix reall
massaging the vegetables as you mix. Divide your mixture between 2 impeccabl
clean quart, canning jars. Press down on the vegetables to push them under
brine and get rid of any air pockets. Weight down the vegetables so that they stay
submerged under the brine. Cover loosely with a clean towel and let sta
nd at room
temperature for 2-3 days until the mixture begins to sour. Taste. There
should be a
balance of salty, sour, and sweet flavors. If it seems too salty or sweet, le
t it ferment
another day. Too sour, add a pinch of sugar and refrigerate. Not salty enou
another dash of salt or fish sauce.
Screw a lid on your jar and transfer to the refrigerator for another week be
eating for the best flavor.
s Daughter, 2012