A few weeks ago we found a whole dumpster full of cabbage, and I took a couple heads so I could use one to make kimchi. A friend had recently made his own kimchi and sent me the recipe he used, for which I had pretty much none of the ingredients, so I used the closest things I did have.

To begin with, I was using a green cabbage, not a Napa cabbage. Because of this, I cut it into eight wedges instead of four. I soaked the cabbage in salt water and then sprinkled more salt onto each wedge, trying to get salt between the leaves, and let them soak in the saltwater until they were soft, about 6 hours, occasionally turning them. I also chopped a pear, half a red onion, and chives**, and mixed them with the pickled radishes I made months ago.

I boiled tapioca starch and water from soaked wakame seaweed* to make the base for a seasoning paste. I added some soy sauce* to compensate for the lack of fish. I added about a quarter cup of red pepper flakes* and crushed dried peppers, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds*, and salt*, blended the mixture with a stick blender, and allowed it to cool.

I mixed the paste into the chopped vegetables, then cut most of the stem off each piece of cabbage and coated it in the paste and vegetables before placing it in a large jar. I packed everything down in the jar and added a probiotic tablet just in case it needed help fermenting, then mixed some water into the bowl the seasoning was in and added it to the top of the jar. This was left out to ferment about five days, then put in the fridge for a week. I took some out to give away in small containers then moved the rest to a smaller jar.

The result tastes good to me; fairly mild and sour.

*store-bought ingredients

**leftover from a test batch of gougeres

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