We’re Making Brussels Sprouts Kimchi with Green Garlic

Thinking about current obsessions on the Chowhound General Topics board reminded me about a recipe I saw last year that I really wanted to make: Brussels Sprouts Kimchi. This is my first attempt at making kimchi and already I’m jumping off course, making up my own variation of Chef Jon Churan’s recipe before even trying it. I couldn’t find gochugaru (coarse Korean red pepper powder) so I used togarashi (Japanese sansho and seed powder). My personal current obsession is springtime green garlic, so I'm using that in place of the onion and scallions in Churan's recipe. I just made this today; I’ll do a follow-up post in five days to deliver a verdict on the final result. Any other kimchi makers out there willing to share your thoughts? What’s the success rate with kimchi? I’ve got my fingers crossed. UPDATE: Finger-crossing did not work! My Brussels sprouts kimchi sucked.

Brussels Sprouts Kimchi with Green Garlic
(Inspired by Jon Churan)
Makes 2 (32-ounce) jars

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
3 1/2 ounces kosher salt
2 quarts warm water
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 1/2 tablespoons togarashi
3 stalks green garlic
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 serrano pepper, sliced
1 tablespoon peeled, grated ginger
6 medium garlic cloves

For the pickling liquid:
4 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 quart warm water

Step 1: Trim a bit from the stem end of the sprouts, also removing any tough or discolored leaves, and halve them lengthwise.

Step 2: Make a brine by adding the salt to the warm water in a large bowl. Stir until the salt has dissolved.

Step 3: Submerge the sprouts in the brine. Place a plate over the top to keep the sprouts from floating—they need to stay covered. Let them hang out in the brine for four hours at room temperature.

Step 4: Meanwhile, combine the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and togarashi in a spice grinder and grind until smooth.

Step 5: Cut the green garlic (including the green stalks) into medium-thick slices.

Step 6: In a food processor, combine the togarashi spice mixture with the fish sauce, soy sauce, serrano pepper, ginger, garlic cloves, and sliced green garlic.

Step 7: Pulse about 30 seconds. Take a spatula and scrape down the bowl, pushing the mixture down so the blades will make contact with it again. Pulse for another 30 seconds—you should have a grainy paste.

Step 8: Drain the brined Brussels sprouts and rinse with fresh water. Toss them with the spice and garlic paste in a large bowl until well coated, then transfer everything to a pair of clean 32-ounce canning jars.

Step 9: Make the pickling liquid by combining the 4 1/2 teaspoons of salt with the quart of warm water in a medium bowl. Stir until the salt has completely dissolved.

Step 10: Divide the pickling liquid between the jars, making sure the Brussels sprouts are covered and there’s at least an inch of space at the top.

Step 11: Screw the lids on tightly and store the jars somewhere away from direct sunlight and at normal room temperature. The kimchi should be ready to eat in three to five days! WRONG! I let it go for 10 days, and the results were less than ideal. Read all about it.

Photos and styling by Chris Rochelle