When most people think of kimchi, they think of spicy fermented napa cabbage. While this is a very common type of kimchi, especially in America, kimchi is actually more than one type of recipe. Think of kimchi as a pickling technique. The word kimchi is actually derived from a combination of two Chinese characters meaning "salted vegetables." Since kimchi is prized for its wide-ranging and powerful flavor, for many people it can take some time to gain a taste for it - but we've found that once you're hooked, it's hard to get enough! (If you're interested in learning more about the wonderful world of kimchi, we love Lauryn Chun's The Kimchi Cookbook.)
We only use produce from Somerset Farm and Croatan Gardens for our lineup of fermented foods. Local napa cabbage is finished for the season until the weather cools off; however, this doesn't mean we can't have kimchi all summer long! Right now there is an abundance of summer squash and cucumbers, two vegetables that are delicious when prepared in the kimchi tradition. These batches have been sliced and brined with sea salt, then seasoned with local chives, garlic from Somerset Farm, ginger from Croatan Gardens, and organic Korean pepper flakes - the same combination of flavors we used for our spring napa cabbage kimchi.
Since cucumbers are one of the quickest vegetables to ferment, we'll have our first batch of cucumber kimchi at the market tomorrow! Summer squash kimchi is not far behind, and should be ready next week. Since the kimchi technique is so versatile, you can also look forward to many more flavor combinations in the coming months, including recipes with long beans, okra, bitter melon, and more. We can't wait to share them with you.
Hay Point Ferments is constantly at work experimenting and developing new recipes to capture the essence of the season's harvest. Follow them to keep tabs on what new flavors are bubbling out of their backyard fermentarium.