It’s hard to imagine a fermented food loved so much as to have its own museum, but Kimchi, Korea’s national food, has its very own Kimchi Field Museum in Seoul. In the museum, tourists learn that there are 187 officially documented varieties of traditional Kimchi, which goes to show you how versatile a dish Kimchi can be. Brussels sprouts kimchi, though not a traditional variety, substitutes Brussels sprouts for cabbage to transform a traditional dish into something only available in the comfort of your own fermentation kitchen.
Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower and are therefore often interchanged in recipes. They’re also just as easy to grow in the backyard garden. And, their hardiness lends them perfectly to fermenting.
Brussels sprouts may be low in calories but they’re packed with nutrition. According to HealthLine, just a half-cup of this SuperBall-like vegetable includes 137% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K, 81% of vitamin C, 12% of vitamin A, and 2 grams of protein. Add the nutritional boost fermenting brings to the equation, and you’ll be supercharged.
From late fall through mid-winter, Brussels sprouts are available by the pint in our local farmers’ market. If you’re unable to grow your own, we recommend you check your local market or small, local grocer.
This recipe utilizes that small-batch farmers’ market quantity of Brussels sprouts to make something that you can slowly enjoy as a condiment for the rest of the cold weather months. Fermented Brussels sprout kimchi has a flavor similar to, but not quite the same as, traditional kimchi with a firmer, crispier result.
Small Batch Brussels Sprouts Kimchi
Prep Time: 10-20 minutes
Fermentation time: 3 days to 3 Weeks
Yield: 1.5 to 2 Cups
• 1 Pint Brussels Sprouts
• 1 Small Carrot
• 3-4 Scallions
• 1 tsp Fresh Ginger, Minced
• 1 tsp Fresh Garlic, Minced
• 1 tsp Thai Fish Sauce (optional)
• 1 tsp Red Pepper Powder, Chili Paste or Hot Sauce (without preservatives)
• ¼ tsp Red Pepper Flakes, dried (more if desired)
• 2 tsp salt dissolved in 2 cups water
• 1 Wide Mouth Pint Mason Jar
• Fermentools Kit
• Small Knife
1. Cut Brussels sprouts into quarters and carrot into small matchsticks or thin coins.
2. Mince scallions, ginger and garlic.
3. Mix Brussels sprouts, carrots, scallions, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, red pepper powder and flakes in a small bowl until evenly combined. Make sure your hot sauce does not contain preservatives that may harm the lactobacillis and prevent good fermentation activity.
4. Pack vegetable and spice mixture into a wide mouth pint mason jar, and pour salt brine over, making sure all vegetables are submerged.
5. Use a glass fermenting weight to keep vegetables submerged to maintain an anaerobic environment for lacto-fermentation.
6. Seal with your Fermentools gasket, lid and airlock.
7. Ferment for a minimum of 3 days, but ideally allow 2-3 weeks for flavors to fully develop.
Once the batch has reached its desired fermentation level, remove the airlock and Fermentools lid and apply a mason jar lid for storage in the refrigerator.
If you are just beginning your fermentation journey, and are unsure if it’s for you, try the Fermentools Starter Kit. Less expensive than a fermentation crock, the kit will turn your Mason jar into a fermentation vessel for a fraction of the cost.