Water Kimchi (Nabak Kimchi) – How many times have you stood in the kitchen with a jar of brine, the pickles all gone, wishing you had some use for it? Here’s the very cool and unique thing about this spring/summer pickle: you drink the brine along with the vegetables. It’s like a drink, a cold soup, and a pickle all at once. This is not the longest lasting pickle, but its delicate, refreshing flavor means it’s one that you’ll make often. It is also widely regarded (and, uh, kitchen tested) as both a chaser for shots and a very effective hangover cure.
Makes about 2 quarts
TIME : ABOUT 3 DAYS
- 13 ounces daikon radish, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced very thinly
- 1 pound napa cabbage, cut lengthwise, core removed, and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- ½ firm sweet pear, cored, skin on, cut into quarters lengthwise, and sliced very thin
- 2 carrots, peeled, trimmed, and cut into ⅛ to ¼-inch half-moons
- 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
- 2 small cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 1 (1-inch) piece unpeeled fresh ginger, minced
- 2 teaspoons Korean red chile flakes
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 4 cups cool tap water
- Combine the daikon, cabbage, pear, carrots, salt, garlic, and ginger in a large mixing bowl, and toss well to evenly distribute the salt. Let sit for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Drain the vegetables in a fine mesh sieve and rinse gently under running water.
- Pack the vegetables snugly into a 48-ounce or larger container, preferably ceramic or glass, as plastic will retain the pickle’s strong perfume. In a separate container, mix the chile flakes and the sugar into the water until the sugar is dissolved. Pour all of the liquid over the vegetables; you want there to be more than enough to cover the vegetables completely. Fill a small plastic bag with water or stones, secure it, and put it on top of the vegetbles to keep them fully submerged.
- Allow this pickle to sit in a cool, dark place for about 3 days; small fermentation bubbles will begin to surface. Once it has fermented lightly, remove the plastic bag, cover the container, and refrigerate. It will keep for about 2 weeks. This pickle should be served in a small bowl along with its delicious brine.