The next time your CSA box presents a conundrum or your garden explodes with a particular vegetable, turn to this time-honored Korean solution: kimchi it. Fresh vegetables transform into a spicy, fragrant, flavor-packed condiment with Matt Rodbard’s easy technique for quick-fermenting at home.
Note: Kimchi is ready after 30 minutes, but if you would like to age it, leave, covered, at room temperature 2–3 days, and then refrigerate for up to 1 month.
Featured in: How to MacGuyver Your Dinner
- 5 tbsp. sugar
- 3 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 lb. Persian cucumbers, daikon radishes, baby bok choy, scallions, cauliflower, carrots, or napa cabbage (or a mix of any combination), roughly chopped
- 1⁄2 cup peeled, cored, and finely chopped Asian pear
- 1⁄2 cup coarsely ground gochugaru (Korean red chile flakes)
- 1⁄4 cup fish sauce
- 2 tsp. minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- In a large bowl, combine 3 tablespoons sugar with the salt. Add the vegetables, toss until evenly coated in the sugar and salt, and let stand for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with the pear, gochugaru, fish sauce, ginger, and garlic and purée until smooth.
- Lift the vegetables from the bowl, squeeze to release any liquid, and transfer to another large bowl. Scrape the purée onto the vegetables, toss to coat, and serve immediately.