Bok choy is a green in the cabbage family, and is common in Asian cuisine. It has a delicate flavor and slightly softer texture than other types of cabbage. I prefer young (baby) bok choy in this recipe, but the more mature variety will work fine, too.
The finished product is packed with vitamin C and other nutrients created during the fermentation process.
Bok Choy Kimchi
- 1 lb. 500g bok choy, or baby bok choy
- 2 quarts /liters filtered water
- 6 Tablespoons (90 ml) fine sea salt
- 4 oz by volume/120ml "make ahead" kimchi paste OR Remaining Paste Ingredients
- 2 scallions green onions
- 15 g garlic peeled
- 10 g ginger
- 2 Tbsp. (30 ml or 15 g) red pepper powder, coarse or medium aka gochugaru
- 2 tsp. (10 ml) soy sauce or tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) fish sauce
Mix Brine & Soak Veg
- Dissolve 6 tablespoons sea salt into 2 quarts/liters of water.
- Rinse dirt off bok choy.
- Slice in half lengthwise, preserving the stem so the leaves stay together. If using full size bok choy, cut into pieces 4 to 5 inches long.
- Place bok choy into a container large enough to hold brine. Add a weight on top. Slowly pour brine until it covers bok choy. Soak in brine for 2 to 6 hours.
- Peel garlic and clean any dirt off ginger. Chop both roughly.
- Cut stems off scallions, and slice them (white and green parts) into 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces.
- Add ginger, garlic, and scallions to work bowl of a food processor, along with red pepper powder and tamari.
- Start the food processor, and mix together until a thick paste forms and it "rolls" together when the machine is running. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. You may adjust with a splash of tamari or soaking brine to get the right texture.
Pack and Ferment
- Drain bok choy from brine, reserving 1/2 cup (200 ml) of brine.
- Wearing gloves to protect hands from being burned by hot pepper, coat the bok choy with paste.
- Pack pieces into a wide-mouth quart-sized or larger glass jar or crock, leaving at least an inch or so from the top rim of the jar.
- Add remaining paste to jar/crock.
- There should be enough brine to completely cover the contents when weighed down.
- Apply small-batch fermentation tools (add weight and secure jar with airlock).
- If not using fermentation tools, add a weight on top of the veggies which will keep the contents beneath the brine.The goal is to keep veggies submerged under brine during fermentation.
- Cover container with a swatch of cloth (not cheesecloth), a dish towel or tea towel to keep flies and dust out. Secure with a twist tie, elastic strap or rubber band. If using mason jar, you can secure the cloth with the metal ring.
- Initially, there may not be enough brine to cover entire contents. The bok choy will continue to soften during the first day. Check after 1 day. Add reserved brine as needed to completely cover the contents.
- Ferment for 10 to 14 days.
- Remove weight and lids and transfer to a jar with a tightly closing lid. Store in refrigerator. Enjoy within 1-2 months.