I wish I could get everyone to eat more fermented foods. We are all so focused on what we can take to improve our gut function- looking always for the perfect probiotic and the perfect prebiotic. The truth is that fermented foods are the perfect package of prebiotics and probiotics. I would encourage you to make some at home- it is surprisingly easy! And tasty!
Kimchi is a traditional Korean fermented food. If you like spicy, give this a try.
You will need a wide mouth ceramic or glass container that you can fit a lid or plate over. You want your container to allow you to have the contents always be submerged in liquid. If your vegetables are poking out over the liquid, they will rot. So pick a container that will allow you to do this. You can use a rock or heavy book to put on top of your lid or plate to keep those vegetables below the liquid surface.
2 heads of Napa cabbage, sliced
2 daikon radishes, peeled and sliced
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 bunch of scallions, sliced
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
16 cloves of garlic, chopped
¼ cup fish sauce (I like Red Boat)
½ cup chili paste, or to taste
1 ¼ cups sea salt (yes- that much. Read the directions carefully!
Wash the Napa cabbage leaves and soak them overnight in a brine of 1 cup of salt and 1 gallon of water. The next day, discard the brine and combine the cabbage with the other vegetables. Add in the rest of the ingredients, including the remaining ¼ cup salt. Add all the ingredients, little by little, into your fermenting vessel. As you add them to your container, vigorously pound and smush the ingredients, encouraging the release of all the juices from your vegetables. Keep pressing and smushing until there is enough liquid in your container to cover all the vegetables. Place the lid over the top of the vegetables and weigh it down with something heavy so that the veggies will stay submerged in the liquid.
Put your container in a warm place in the kitchen and let it ferment for 5-7 days. Check on it from time to time, making sure that the veggies remain submerged in the liquid.
It is done as soon as you like the way it tastes!
Store it in the fridge until you eat it all up!