I love beetroot! Red beet, yellow beet and candy cane beet. Candy cane beet, also called chioggia, looks so incredibly beautiful that I can't help myself and have to enhance them through fermentation. Fermented beet Kkakdugi Kimchi is almost more beautiful than fermented beetroot - at least visually.
Since Kimchi is similarly high on my list as beet, I tried combining the two. With success! Candy cane beet Kkakdugi Kimchi is really delicious! The earthy sweetness of the great roots goes great with the massive umami of the kimchi paste. And it's nice and spicy too.
For a 0.75 liter jar you need
- 3 candy cane beets
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. raw cane sugar
- 1 mono garlic or 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 cm of ginger
- ½ carrot
- 2 tbsp. gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
- 2 scallions (spring onions)
- 1 tbsp. fish sauce
- Water for topping up (approx. 5-6 tbsp.)
If you want to make the ferment vegetarian or vegan, you can simply replace the fish sauce with 1 tsp of soy sauce or coconut aminos (tsp instead of tbsp is not a typo, the vegan alternatives are more intense in flavor).
Candy cane beets have the most appropriate flavor for this recipe, but you can also substitute them with yellow or red beets.
By the way, this opens up a delicious experiment: why don't you try making oven vegetables with all three variants of beetroot and find out what differences you can taste. Then you will have gustatory clues as to how the respective beet could work in the ferment.
Cut the beet into 1-2 cm cubes and cover with the salt and sugar in a bowl. Let stand so that brine is formed. This happens by itself and can take 15-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, finely chop the garlic and ginger. If you can get mono garlic, be sure to use it, it tastes more sweet and gentle than regular garlic. Cut the carrot into fine julienne, the scallions into thin rings.
Once the beets have formed brine, mix with the vegetables, gochugaru and fish sauce (or vegan alternative) and pour into a fliptop jar. To keep the rim clean, use a preserving funnel. If you don't have one, it's not a big deal - then you should wipe the rim of the jar with a clean cloth before sealing.
If necessary, top up with a little water so that the beetroot pieces are just covered. Please do not use brine, the salt and fish sauce are already salty enough. With this ferment, you don't have to worry much about mold, as with all other kimchi variations.
Kimchi is not very prone to mold
By the way: If the kimchi is eaten fresh and ferments for a maximum of 3 days, it doesn't matter if not everything is covered by brine. Then just move the jar a few times a day and keep the vegetables covered that way. The chili powder also creates a good microclimate in the ferment and prevents the formation of mold. With Kimchi, you have the least fear of mold.
The ingredients of many spicy fruits inhibit the growth of bacteria. Perhaps that is why spicy seasoning has become widespread in countries where the growth of bacteria (even undesirable ones) is favored by the prevailing climate.
How long is candy cane beet Kkakdugi Kimchi fermented for?
Ferment for a maximum of 6 weeks, otherwise the beet will become too soft. The first time you can try after 3 weeks, then the beetroots are slightly soft on the outside and inside still very raw crunchy.