Sauerkraut and Kimchi Bites

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I will admit it, I am a delinquent blogger. I had good intentions to keep up. If only you could see the list of blog posts I started and did not finish…lets see, ‘Green Beans Galore!’ is going on two years old, ‘Do You Ever Think About Soap?’ yup, last spring, ‘Christmas Eve Egg Nog’ started last year with intentions of posting it before Christmas this year, but I hated the photos. Hmmmm….I could have posted my Candy Cane Ice Cream served over brownies…but no, I was too busy shoving it in my ice-cream hole. Sadly, none of my Christmas recipe posts were ever completed.

But sauerkraut bites, thats an other story. Fermenting rocks because it takes a long time, like a month, which gives me plenty of time to think about blogging. Today, the day after Christmas I cracked open my jars of sauerkraut and kimchi bites to sample them. They have been fermenting in my kitchen since before Thanksgiving….and Yum!!! Holy-smokes those kimchi bites are amaze-balls. The sauerkraut bites are super-yum too. But if you like spice, kimchi bites win the prize.

To make the bites I simply substituted halved brussels sprouts for shredded cabbage. They turned out sour yet still crisp, a virtual taste explosion in your mouth.

Ingredients for Sauerkraut Bites
1) Brussels sprouts (as many as you want)
2) Unrefined sea salt
3) Water (Chlorine Free)
4) Optional ingredients: garlic, crushed red pepper, dill, mustard seed, bay leaves, peppercorn, caraway seeds

Instructions for Sauerkraut Bites

  1. Rinse, trim and halve your Brussels sprouts, removing any wilted or discolored leaves.

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2. Place your brussels sprouts into a jar or crock along with any desired spices.  I like to add garlic and crushed red pepper.  Leave a couple inches of headspace.   Note:  I recommend equipping your fermentation jar with an air-lock to prevent explosions from carbon dioxide build-up.  Alternatively, burp your jar once or twice a day.  My favorite jar for fermenting is a Fido.  Fido jars can self-vent if enough pressure builds up but I typically burp my Fido daily.

3. Create a 2.5% brine using 24 g (approx. 1 T and 1 t) unrefined sea salt dissolved in one quart of water (no chlorine).

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Make as much brine as you need to fully submerge all your Brussels sprouts. Your sprouts are going to want to float so make sure you weigh them down.  You can get creative here but I use food grade plastic disks cut from flexible cutting boards.  Weights should be non-reactive such as as small juice glasses, shot glasses, or glass weights made for the task.  I have also used a ziplock filled with water and sealed to keep everything submerged under the brine.

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Would you get a look at that giant Fido?  It a 4-liter jar, a most awesome birthday gift from my home-slice.

4. Wait a minimum of four weeks.

5. Open the jar and enjoy.

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Store sauerkraut bites in the refrigerator.  They will last months.

 

Kimchi bites are made essentially the same way only specific spices are used. Kimchi bites were adapted from Bon Appetit (September 2013).

Ingredients for Kimchi bites

  1. 1.5 pounds Brussels sprouts
  2. 1/2 small onion
  3. 4 garlic cloves
  4. 1/4 cup gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder)
  5. 2 Tablespoons fish sauce (I recommend Red Boat)
  6. 2 Tablespoons sriracha (I like OrganicVille)
  7. 1 inch chunk of ginger
  8. 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  9. 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  10. 1 Tablespoon sea salt
  11. 1 quart unchlorinated water
  1. Rinse, trim, and halve your Brussels sprouts, removing any wilted or discolored leaves.
  2. Place your Brussels sprouts in a jar or crock.  If using mason jars you will need either one half-gallon jar or two quart jars.
  3. Place all ingredients except the Brussels sprouts into a blender and blend until combined.
  4.  Congratulations!  Your blender now contains a delicious spicy brine. Pour the contents of the blender over the Brussels sprouts.  Just like the sauerkraut bites above, your sprouts are going to want to float so make sure you weigh them down. You can get creative here but I use food grade plastic disks cut from flexible cutting boards. Weights should be non-reactive such as as small juice glasses, shot glasses, or glass weights made for the task. I have also used a ziplock filled with water and sealed to keep everything submerged under the brine.
  5. Wait a minimum of four weeks.  If you jar does not have an air lock, you will need to remember to burp your jar daily to remove excess gas build up and subsequent explosions.
  6. Open the jar and enjoy.  Your Kimchi bites will last for months in the fridge…except they don’t because they are so delicious.

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