See The Kimchi Method video for the treatment of cabbage and other vegetables for fermentation or picking. Otherwise, salt down your green, leafy nappa cabbage cut in eighths lengthwise for about 4 hours. Squeeze out very well. Taste for salt. It should be a little too salty, definitely not saltless.
If you don’t have fresh tarragon, dried works very well. You could also use a tablespoon of high quality vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean, or a teaspoon of toasted cardamon seeds – not cardamom pods. Lavender and tarragon also make a great combination if you don’t want to use vanilla.
- 1 cabbage: 1 1/2 pounds or 650 grams
- 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
- 1 whole lime cut into slivers or 1 TB dried or fresh lime zest
- 1 TB black peppercorns, toasted in a pan.
- 1/4 cup kosher salt for pre-treatment of cabbage
- 1 TB coarse sea salt
- 5 each scallions or 75 grams
- 1 vanilla bean, split and chopped. (See alternatives)
- 1/2 yellow or 60 grams onion
- 1 tsp dried garlic
After you have salted down the cabbage, squeeze as much water out of it as you can. Add the tarragon leaves. Cut the well washed and scrubbed lime in half, then slice in very thin slices. Peel and thinly slice the two peeled onion halves.
Toss with roasted, dehydrated garlic, or garlic chips or powder. You could also use fresh garlic. Toast and grind the black peppercorns, or grind in 1 to 2 teaspoons of black pepper. Add the tablespoon of salt and let sit after mixing well.
Lay out the cabbage on a cutting board and place all the other ingredients along the wilted cabbage. Roll up as best you can. Stuff into a well washed jar or another container. Press the pickles down with something heavy, or even a bag of marbles or salt.
Put a very clean drip bowl under the pickles. After 24 hours at room temperature check the pickles. The juice will have likely leaked out of the lightly screwed on top.
Pour it back in and run a chopstick or knife down the side of the jar to ensure the liquid gets in. Let ferment for about 5 to 7 days.
You could keep fermenting it for a few more weeks if you like, or refrigerate it. It should last at least a few months if you keep it covered, and free from dirty forks or spoons.
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