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Smoked Celeriac Krautchi

What happens with you marry the spices paste of kimchi with the faster method for kraut, you get krautchi, which is even better in my books. Here’s the basic version, with lots of options to give it your own seasonal spin.

Ingredients

1.25 litres filtered or mineral water

3 tbsp sea salt

1kg celeriac

1 chipotle or smoked chillies (or 1 normal chilli – fresh or dried + ½-1 tsp smoked paprika)

3 garlic cloves, peeled

2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger (peeled first)

Makes approx. 650g

Method

Whisk the water and salt together in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Set aside.

Peel the celeriac. Quarter and coarsely grate. Weigh up the celeriac and add 2% sea salt (so for every 100g of celeriac you’d add 2g of salt). Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside for 1 hour – during this time the veg will take in beneficial yeasts and bacteria from the air.

Soak your chillies in boiling water and leave 15 minutes or until softened. Drain the water. Discard the chilli stems. Grind the chillies, garlic and ginger to a paste in a small spice grinder, a pestle and mortar or just really finely chop everything with a knife.

Mix the chilli paste through the celeriac. Pack the mix into a sterlised jar, pressing it down as tightly as you can, ensuring there are no air pockets. Pour in enough of the reserved salt water brine to fully cover the celeriac. Use a plastic bag or a small dish to cover the kimchi and help weigh it down, ensuring it’s always kept under the brine. Secure your jar with an airtight lid.

Set in a dark place in your kitchen and let the kimchi ferment for 7-10 days, checking it daily to ensure it stays fully covered by the liquid. Smell and taste. Once it’s tender and tangy enough for you, it’s ready to eat. You can ferment it for up to 3 weeks.

Tuck in straight away or store in the fridge in a sealed, sterilised jar till you’re ready to eat it. As long as it’s covered in brine, stored in a clean jar with an airtight lid, it will keep for weeks.

*If you can’t find chipotle chillies you can swap for normal fresh or dried chillies. Obviously you don’t have to soak fresh chillies before making the kimchi paste. To add a smoky edge to normal chillies, simply add ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (more or less, to taste), to the spiced paste before adding it to the celeriac.

Notes on kimchi