Better Food is a Bristol-based independent retailer, with three stores and cafés across the city. They’ve championed organic, local and ethical produce for over 25 years.
With more people in Bristol cooking meals from scratch than ever before, Better Food provides a little inspiration for you by sharing some of their tried-and-tested recipes.
The first recipe in this series – for homemade kimchi – has been a closely guarded secret up to now. It was created by Catering Manager, Lewis Griffiths, who spent years working as Head Chef at the Lido Restaurant and Flinty Red. It’s perfect if you’re keeping an eye on your gut health, or if you’re simply missing ready access to delicious Korean food while in lockdown.
Better Food is passionate about the importance of organic farming to biodiversity and soil health, as well as the quality of the food we eat. If you’re short of time and want a quick and easy accompaniment to an Asian-inspired meal, this recipe is ready prepared using organic ingredients (except for the rare Korean chilli flakes!) and ready to pick up at every Better Food store.
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Homemade kimchi recipe
For salting cabbage:
2 large Chinese cabbages (or green or pointed cabbages)
250g fine salt
2 tbsp rice flour (Better Food use brown rice flour)
2 tbsp sugar
Pepper flake paste:
15 garlic cloves, minced
Large thumb sized piece of ginger, minced
1 medium onion, minced
2 medium-sized carrots, cut into matchsticks
100g hot gochugaru pepper flakes (available from Oriental supermarkets)
Other vegetables (you can vary according to what’s in season):
5 spring onions, sliced
Bunch of radishes, sliced
1 mouli cut into matchsticks
- Split the cabbages in half and cut each half into 3 pieces.2.
- Rinse under the tap. Salt the leaves, making sure each layer is salted. Use more salt on the thicker stems near the core.
- Let the leaves sit for about 1.5 hours, less if you have smaller cabbages. From time to time give the cabbage a little squeeze and turn them over in the salty liquid.
- After 1.5 hours, the cabbage should be soft and have released a lot of their water. Give the cabbage a rinse under the tap to remove excess salt and then a little squeeze to remove the water.
- While the cabbages are salting, make the porridge. Combine the water, rice flour and sugar in a small pan. Mix well and let it simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes until it thickens and becomes glossy. Set aside to cool.
- The quickest way to make the pepper flake paste is to add the garlic, ginger and onion to a food processor and blitz into a smooth paste. Then add the gochugaru pepper flakes, carrot and any other vegetables you are using.
- Mix the cool porridge mix into the pepper flake paste – it will seem a bit thick, but this is good as it helps stick to the cabbage.
- Now the messy but fun bit. It’s best to use gloves at this point – smear the mix into each cabbage, getting it into each layer of the cabbage leaf. Pack the cabbages and remaining mix into a Kilner jar.
- Leave out of the fridge for up to 2 days, until it begins to ferment, and then store in the fridge. It will keep for up to 6 months.
Better Food has remained open, as usual, throughout the lockdown and the team are doing everything they can to help the community get through this time of great uncertainty. They offer restricted shopping for the elderly and vulnerable, NHS discounts and make regular contributions to community food distribution schemes. In each store you’ll find everything from fresh produce to store cupboard staples, chilled foods to fresh bread, bodycare, household products and more. Find out more at www.betterfood.co.uk.