Like most people my first encounter with pickles involved vinegar and cucumbers. Within the past year or so I have branched out and started making fermented pickles. My first attempt was to make daikon pickles. I used a recipe from Homegrown Evolution. The first batch I followed the recipe to the proverbial “T.” Very soon after I was making quarts of Daikon Kraut.
I was hooked.
Fruit Kimchi tastes great. . .in small quantities. I can’t eat it the same way I can a more traditional kimchi. This normally wouldn’t have been a problem, except that I made a very large batch of it. I wasn’t able to eat the entire batch nor was I able to give enough of it away. With that being said, Fruit Kimchi has definitely found a regular place in my rotation o’ ferments. The sweet, spicy, salty, taste is like no other.
The beautiful thing about making your own food is that you control how it tastes. This is especially true with pickles. It is very easy to take a standard recipe and make it your own. Take a standard bread and butter pickle recipe and add a habanero pepper to the mix. Are you bored of Kimchi? Make it with fruit!
Fruit Kimchi (From Wild Fermentation, buy the book)
Timeframe: 1 week
Ingredients (for 1 quart):
2 plums, pitted
2 pears, cored
1 apple, cored
1 small bunch grapes, stemmed
1/2 cups/125 milliliters cashews (or other nuts)
2 teaspoons/10 milliliters sea salt
Juice of 1 lemon
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1 to 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 to 2 hot red chilies, or any form of hot red pepper, fresh or dried
1 leek or onion, finely chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic (or more), finely chopped
3 tablespoons/45 milliliters (or more) grated ginger
Chop fruit into bite size pieces. Peel if you wish. Leave grapes whole. Add in any other fruit you want to try. Add nuts. Mix fruits and nuts together in a bowl.
Add salt, lemon juice, and spices. Mix well.
Stuff kimchi mixture into a clean quart-size jar. Pack it tightly into the jar, pressing down until the brine rises. If necessary, add a little water. Weight down with a smaller jar or a zip lock bag filled with some brine. Or if you think you can remember to check the kimchi everyday, you can use your (clean!) fingers to push the fruit back under the brine. As this sweet kimchi ages, it will develop and increasingly alcoholic flavor.
Recipe Source: Wild Fermentation, pg 50