04 July 2012

Canada Day Fermentation Weekend

makgeolli ingredients
'instant' makgeolli
 This weekend we finally got around to doing a couple of things that we've been meaning to do for nearly a year.   We started making kimchi and makgeolli.  We started pretty small, the stuff needs to be refrigerated and it's a pain in the butt to make a lot.

The makgeolli required a fair bit of preparation (washing, soaking and steaming the rice) and although it wasn't hard, mistakes were made.  The picture here shows it with the nuruk and yeast mixed in.  It took a couple of days for the fermentation to get going but once it started it was pretty enthusiastic.  It already smells like makgeolli, but it'll be about a week for the full process.We used a prepackaged 'instant makgeolli' starter this time, plus a little bit of nuruk I ground up and threw in.

kimchi seasoning paste
home-grown Korean cabbage
Seyoung made the 'marinade' for kimchi and set up a small batch.  Once the cabbage is soaked in brine and starts fermenting it shrinks quite a bit.  I'd guess we'll end up with about as much as you'd get in a small pouch in a Korean supermarket.  The Korean chili is different from other red chili powder, it's a bit sweeter and earthier, I think.  It's still spicy, but it's a different kind of spicy.

To brine the cabbage Seyoung used some Korean sea salt, it's really nice salt (like flower of salt), and almost a shame to use it for pickling cabbage, but I guess it'll make better kimchi than non-Korean pickling salt.

She also made a tiny batch of kimchi from some Korean cabbage grown in our garden box.  By the time it's pickled this will probably make enough kimchi for a small bowl, but it will be interested to see how it turns out.

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