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White Pear Kimchi

kimchi and pickles

White Pear Kimchi
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Makes: 2-1 quart jars
You will need two 1 quart jars with lids (or a larger jar/crock), plastic gloves, cheesecloth, and a rubber band.
Ingredients
  • ½ Asian pear peeled, cored, and chopped into big chunks
  • 2-inch piece of ginger peeled and chopped
  • 3-4 medium garlic cloves peeled and ends removed
  • 2 tablespoons of good salt
  • 1 head of Napa or savoy cabbage, about 2 pounds. Reserve 1 large cabbage leaf until later, slice remaining leaves into ½ inch strips
  • 2-4 scallions peeled and thinly sliced into coins
  • 4-inch piece of daikon peeled and diced into thin coins and then in half again
  • Optional: ½ cup carrots, bell pepper, broccoli or yellow onion - julienned or chopped bite size
  • Optional: pepper flakes, diced chilies or peppers for added heat
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, toss in pear chunks, ginger, garlic, and salt. Blend until entirely chopped and liquified. Set aside.
  2. In a large glass bowl add sliced cabbage, scallions, daikon, and any optional veggies or spicy peppers.
  3. With clean or gloved hands, fold and mix the cabbage into the salt mixture. Keep massaging and squeezing cabbage in your hands like a sponge, pressing down to release liquid. Continue doing this until you have created enough juice so that when you hold down the cabbage in your bowl with your fists, liquid rises over your knuckles and fingers.
  4. When you think you are ready, take two 1 quart jars (or crock) and a funnel. Squeeze your cabbage and put into jars, leaving juice in the bowl.
  5. When you have equally divided your kimchi between your jars, measure and evenly distribute the remaining juice. Pour half into each jar.
  6. Take your reserved cabbage leaf and rip in half, place on top of mixture and with a gloved hand or core of cabbage, press cabbage down so juices rise above your cabbage leaf.
  7. Take a clean small jar filled with rocks and place inside the mouth of your jar as a weight to keep the kimchi submerged.
  8. If your jar is too full and liquid is overflowing, try to take out some of the cabbage or juice. The most critical piece is to make sure your cabbage mixture is submerged.
  9. Cut a piece of cheesecloth to cover your jar, secure with a rubber band. The cheesecloth will let it breathe and keep dust from getting in the jar.
  10. Let your kimchi rest at room temperature and out of sunlight for 3-7 days. Check it daily to make sure that kimchi is submerged. Press down and adjust as necessary.
  11. Taste your kimchi on day 3. If you want it stronger and more pungent, let it continue to ferment for another few days. If it tastes delicious to you (sour and not just salty), remove the cheesecloth and jar with rocks, secure the mason jar lid tight, and refrigerate. Kimchi will last in your fridge for several months.
NOTE: Keeping kimchi submerged will keep it fresher longer. For this reason, I keep a small jar in my mason jar to hold the kimchi under as needed. Each time I use the kimchi I press it down with a clean utensil.

Enjoy!

~ Heather