We’re incredibly excited to feature this Pumpkin Spice Kimchi recipe from author Amanda Feifer. It comes from her new book, Ferment Your Vegetables: A Fun and Flavorful Guide to Making Your Own Pickles, Kimchi, Kraut, and More. We think kimchi is perfect for a sexy diet and this recipe–packed with aphrodisiac ingredients and spices, will help you get your winter groove on. Of course, we couldn’t help but wonder what inspired Amanda to take a baking term and transform it into something savory and spicy. Here’s what she has to say.
Whenever the annual pumpkin spice latte freak-out begins, I get excited. I couldn’t care less about the latte, but I know it means that I’ll soon be able to get my hands on locally grown pumpkins that I can use to make this kimchi. If you can’t find small pumpkins, you can substitute just about any winter squash. Kabocha and butternut squash both make fantastic versions of this kimchi.–Amanda
Cut the pumpkin in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Reserve seeds for another use.
Cut out the stem and carefully peel the pumpkin, but hold on to a few larger strips of pumpkin peel. Slice the peeled pumpkin halves into roughly 1⁄2-inch (1.5 cm) cubes. A pointy corner or rounded side here or there is fine.
Place the pumpkin cubes in a large bowl.
Stir the salt into 5 cups (1.2 L) of the water until dissolved and pour over the pumpkin.
Use a small plate or other food-safe, nonmetallic weight to submerge the pumpkin pieces in the brine. Allow to soak for 12 to 24 hours. After brining, drain, pat dry, and move them to a large bowl.
To make the kimchi
In your smallest saucepan, bring the remaining 3⁄4 cup water and the rice flour to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly.
Reduce the heat to medium and continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature and thicken further.
While the rice paste is cooling, trim the leek and slice it into 1∕8-inch or thinner rings. Place the rings in a small bowl and cover with water. Set aside.
Remove the stems from the collards and lay the leaves on top of each other. Roll them up and cut into 1⁄2-inch strips. Place the strips in the bowl with the pumpkin.
Once the rice paste is cool, place it in the bowl of your food processor along with the garlic, ginger, gochugaru, red pepper flakes, fish sauce, onion, and carrot.
Process until the mixture is relatively smooth.
Remove the leek from the soaking liquid, being careful not to stir up any grit at the bottom of the bowl, and place it in the bowl with the pumpkin and collard pieces.
Put on your kimchi gloves. Scoop the blended rice paste into the bowl with the vegetables and use your hands to mix the ingredients together and to coat the vegetables. Once the ingredients are well mixed, remove the glove from your nondominant hand and use that hand to hold a clean quart jar.
Pack the mixture in the bowl tightly into the jar, leaving an inch of headspace at the top of the jar. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean, damp cloth to remove any paste residue.
Cover your jar loosely with its lid, and let it sit at room temperature to ferment for 6 days to 3 weeks. When it tastes sour enough for you, secure the lid and move the jar to the fridge for storage.
Enjoy chilled or room temperature as a side dish.
photo courtesy of Fair Winds Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group
To experience more seductive foods transformed through fermenting, check out Amanda’s new book.