The Alternative Sauerkraut

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There’s nothing more Korean than kimchi, and no Korean meal is complete without these fermented and heavily spiced vegetable preparations, invented ages ago to help Korean farmers preserve some of the harvest into the cold winter months. Kimchi makes a sensational barbecue condiment, and while it’s easy enough to find in supermarkets, it’s even better prepared from scratch.

1 head of green cabbage, preferably Napa cabbage
1 cup water
1 tbsp salt
1/2 bunch scallions cut into 1-inch lengths

For the kimchi paste
1/4 cup red pepper flakes
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp oyster sauce (available bottled at any Asian grocery, or through Amazon)
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (available bottled at any Asian grocery, or through Amazon)

1. Make the kimchi paste by blending all ingredients in a food processor.
2. Dissolve the 1 tbsp salt in the 1 cup water.
3. Chop the cabbage into bite-size pieces.
4. Submerge the cabbage in the salt water for 2 hours, then drain.
5. Add the kimchi paste and the scallions to the cabbage and blend thoroughly.
6. Place the mixture into ziplock bags, leaving the top open. Squeeze the mixture until you’ve removed as much air from the bags as possible. Seal the bags. Refrigerate.
7. The kimchi will be ready after one day and remain delicious for up to 2 weeks.