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I Eat Plants: Local Vegan Kimchi Recipe
Posted By Jodie Deignan On December 6, 2012 @ 8:00 am In I Eat Plants | No Comments
The outdoor farmers’ market season is drawing to a close, but you have one or two more weeks to access some of them, like Pleasantville  and Rye . The selection of food is also getting smaller, but there are some veggies that are still available!
A few months ago, I got inspired to start working on some fermenting projects. I’d always thought that I would have to wait until I had a house with a basement to make things like kimchi and sauerkraut, but that turns out to not be the case. While I might want that if I were going to be fermenting on a large scale, a little counter space for a few days and then a spot in the fridge is all you need for smaller projects.
So why would a vegetable dish need to be specified as a vegan recipe, you might ask? Kimchi is traditionally made using shrimp paste (or fish sauce), so it’s not vegan by definition. I don’t know that it’s all that hard to find vegan versions, but if you’re buying it, you’ll have to read the label. And if you’re searching for recipes, you’ll have to be careful- most recipes do include our fishy friends.
So what to do about the fish sauce? Miso is an excellent substitute. I was worried that the bacteria in the miso would compete with the bacteria in the kimchi, but I found that it worked just fine. I’d try to make sure that you buy a brand that doesn’t have any weird preservatives in it. I used plain old white soybean miso, but I’m sure any variety would be just fine. You’re just replacing that umami flavor that our water-dwelling friends would impart. Speaking of which, I suppose you could also try seaweed in its place.
Kimchi makes for some awesome veggies added to pretty much anything you’d watch spicy/sour/fermented vegetables. It’s also a raw food! I like to add it on top of various tofu/noodle dishes.
A note about the Korean chili powder , or Gochutgaru. I went to the H-Mart  in White Plains- there was a section of aisle just dedicated to this stuff. I picked up one of the smaller bags, but you have options to buy it in ginormous quantities. You can just use hot chili peppers to your liking, or cayenne, but if you’re using cayenne, use a much smaller quantity (the Korean chili powder is fairly mild). I’m saying 2-4 Tbs in the recipe of Korean Chili Powder, but I found 2 to be too mild. Three hit the spot for me in my next batch.
I would highly suggest using a proper fermentation jar for making this- I have some ideas for this on my own blog , but you can use a sealed container- just make sure to “burp” it at least 2-3 times per day while it’s fermenting on the counter.
You should have no trouble finding veggies for this at any of the farmers’ markets this time of year. You’ll find these types of veggies all year long. Napa, carrots, scallions and daikon should all be available, and you can be creative, too- add what you like! As long as there’s plenty of napa and salt, there should be no problem with the fermentation process!
This will keep for months in the fridge. It will get more sour over time, but that’s okay!
I Eat Plants columnist Jodie Deignan went vegetarian in 2004 and fully committed to veganism in 2007. By day she’s a psychiatric nurse practitioner and by night she spends a lot of time cooking delicious vegan food for herself and her friends. She’s a bit of a picky eater, with a special distaste for mushrooms, seaweed, raw tomatoes, and eggplant, though she’s discovered along the way she’s a little more open-minded than she once thought. She blogs at The Picky Vegan . Follow her on Facebook , Twitter  and Pinterest .
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URL to article: http://food.lohudblogs.com/2012/12/06/i-eat-plants-local-vegan-kimchi-recipe/
URLs in this post:
 Pleasantville: http://downtoearthmarkets.com/markets?region=Westchester&market=Pleasantville+Farmers+Market
 Rye: http://downtoearthmarkets.com/markets?region=Westchester&market=Rye+Farmers+Market
 Korean chili powder: http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/healthy_cooking_101/ingredient_glossary/korean_chili_powder
 H-Mart: http://www.hmart.com
 on my own blog: http://pickyvegan.com/vegan-kimchi/
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 The Picky Vegan: http://pickyvegan.com
 Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pickyvegan
 Twitter: http://twitter.com/pickyvegan
 Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/pickyvegan/