While I enjoy cabbage-based kimchi, I prefer the firm bite that I get from turnip much more. Inspired by turnip kimchi, I use kohlrabi for this bold and spicy version. You can find gochugaru—red chile powder used in Korean cooking—at Asian markets or online.
1 pound kohlrabi, peeled and cut into large dice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1½ teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1½ tablespoons gochugaru (Korean red chile powder)
1½ tablespoons sea salt
In a large bowl, combine the kohlrabi, garlic, ginger, and gochugaru and toss together with clean hands. Pack the mixture into a clean quart-size canning jar and set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the salt and 3 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and simmer until the salt has dissolved. Let cool, then pour the brine into the jar over the kohlrabi. Place fermentation weights or something similar atop the kohlrabi to ensure it stays covered with the brine. Cover with a lid and set aside on the counter for up to 72 hours (the longer it sits at room temperature, the quicker and deeper the fermentation). Transfer to the refrigerator and let the kohlrabi ferment for 1 week before eating. The kimchi will last up to 1 year refrigerated.
Kohlrabi and carrots
This quick salad is inspired by do chua, a sweet and crunchy daikon-and-carrot pickle used to enhance Vietnamese bánh mì sandwiches. I toss the vegetables in a broken vinaigrette and top them with peanuts for crunch. Save the remaining dressing for another use.
1 pound kohlrabi, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced with a mandoline
1 pound carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into ribbons with a Y-shape vegetable peeler or mandoline
½ teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
2 tablespoons peanut oil
½ cup peanuts, toasted, for garnish
Freshly ground white pepper
Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl. Fill the bowl with cold water and ice and set aside for 20 minutes. Drain the vegetables in a colander and set aside to dry for 20 minutes. Gently pat with a clean kitchen towel to absorb any remaining moisture. Dry the bowl and return the vegetables to it.
In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, ginger, vinegar, lime juice, shallot, sugar, and peanut oil until combined. Season with salt to taste.
To serve, pour enough dressing over the salad to lightly coat and toss. Divide the salad among four plates and top with the peanuts. Season with pepper and serve.