Fermentation is certainly a hot topic, not only for those interested in gaining some healthy gut bacteria but also to those launching a career in the restaurant industry. You don't need to be Korean to love the tangy flavor of kimchi. The kimchi craze seemed to start slow with celebrity chef David Chang's Momofuku restaurant and has expanded to American chain restaurants touting Korean Burgers or Dogs (hot dogs and hamburgers with Kimchi). Some may call it a fad, but history tells us that fermented foods are here to stay.
In late September, Manna Culinary Arts students went forth into the garden to harvest ingredients for Kimchi and Sauerkraut. They found the necessary green onions, cabbage, carrots, turnips, and onions in order to concoct a 10 person size batch of lacto fermented goodness. The students chopped garlic, grated ginger, and mixed in Korean chili powder and sesame seeds to create a seasoned paste to mix with their vegetables. Rather than filling large crocks with the Kimchi, the students used round glass discs called pickle pebbles to weight the vegetables under the kimchi's liquid. Lacto fermentation occurs anaerobically meaning that the liquid is necessary to seal out air.
Students also mixed grated carrots, cabbage, salt and curry to create a new spin on Sauerkraut. In 10 days or so, students will leave with a taste of pink curry kraut and a quart of kimchi. We encourage you to try it out! Use some of the harvest's bounty to preserve your own lacto-bacillus fermented experiment!