I'm quite pleased with my first batch of kimchi. The cabbage has a nice crunch, the spices dispense themselves with an even hand, and the garlic, while assertive, is not too overwhelming. Next time, I think I'll add in some more ginger to balance out the garlic, and use fewer cloves.
My next experiment introduced new variables in technique as well as recipe. I hand chopped the first batch of cabbage, and decided this time to use the shredded attachment on my food processor. I'm new to this tool, and think I might have been overzealous in my shredding, as the cabbage came out in fine, tiny bits. No matter, I bottled it up anyway.
Sea Vegetable and Green Ginger Kraut
1 medium-large head cabbage
1 3-4 inch stem of green or young ginger (you could use regular ginger for this, but the flavor would be quite different)
A few handfuls of organic seaweed (dry) such as arame, dulse, or hijiki
3 tbsp. kosher or sea salt
Finely chop cabbage and layer cabbage and salt in a large glass bowl. Massage the salt into the cabbage, bruising the cabbage as you go. It should be releasing quite a bit of juice already Place a layer of cabbage in your fermentation crock, followed by a layer of shredded ginger, and a layer of the dried seaweed. You will not need too much seaweed as it will increase in volume as it hydrates. Continue until you have used up all the ingredients. Fill water in a ziplog baggie and push down on the top of the cabbage mixture, and then seal the crock. Let ferment on a ktichen counter or tabletop for 4-5 days, tasting every day. Since I use a sealed crock, I open it up every day to release the off gases and therefore pressure.