The last few weeks, I’ve been getting radishes in my CSA Box. I have to say I’m not a huge fan of radishes, and don’t usually do anything with them other than eat them in salads or as a snack. However, I spotted some radish kimchi at one of the stands at our local farmer’s market earlier this summer and wanted to try making it myself. What a fantastic idea. Koreans typically use daikon radish for making kimchi, so why not red radishes.
Last summer, I made Napa Cabbage Kimchi, Kohlrabi Kimchi and Spicy Cucumber Salad, all using fresh vegetables from my CSA Box. For this Radish Kimchi, I sliced the radishes into 1/4″ pieces instead of cubing them as daikon kimchi is usually prepared. I love how pretty the red skin of these radishes is when sliced.
Kimchi is a fermented food, much like miso, soy sauce, kosher sour pickles, sauerkraut, and yogurt. More recently, kombucha (fermented tea) and kefir have become popular fermented foods. Fermenting foods has been around for a long time and was used as a way to preserve foods. Today, fermented foods are recognized for their active bacteria cultures that help promote the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria, and aid in the digestion and support of the immune function, including an increase in B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, digestive enzymes, lactase and lactic acid, and other immune chemicals that fight off harmful bacteria and possible cancer cells.
According to Sandor Katz, author of Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation, fermentation simply allows microflora (e.g., yeast, bacteria, molds) to grow on food, changing its nature as the microorganisms ingest sugars or alcohols and excrete carbon dioxide, acids or alcohols. Funny enough, Sandor Katz is featured in this week’s New York Times Food section, so this post is very timely.
Today, I’m featuring this Radish Kimchi recipe for this month’s Recipe ReDux event – Fermented Foods. The Recipe ReDux is a recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, which focuses on taking delicious dishes, keeping them delicious, but making them better for you. Similar to my mindset, Dietitians Regan Jones, Serena Ball and Deanna Segrave-Daly founded the group on the belief that healthier eating should always taste delicious. Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover.
The Incredible Health Benefits to You of Traditionally Fermented Foods, Mercola.com
Preserving Plenty: The Beauty of Fermented Foods, Saveur
‘Fermentation’: When Food Goes Bad But Stays Good, NPR