I made our first batch and it finished fermenting today so we tried it for lunch. Talk about hot and spicy! One of my sons (11-yr-old) said "It feels like some of the hot salsa we used to eat at restaurants". Another son (10-yr-old) tried a bit then pushed it away, only to ask for the jar a few minutes later saying, "I'm starting to really crave it." They both ate 2 helpings! So did I. My mouth is still watering just thinking about it.
The next time I make it I'll cut the amount of peppers because it was just a tad too hot, even though we ate it happily. I used the recipe from Home, Health and Happiness, and would also like to try this version once I find the right kind of pepper powder and figure out how to make fish sauce.
1 Napa cabbage, washed and sliced thinly
1 bunch green onions, sliced (use both green and white parts)
3 carrots, grated
1 bunch radishes (didn't have, but would like to try it next time)
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 chili peppers (I used serrano and they were HOT...need to decrease the amount or switch peppers)
4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. whey per mason jar
Mix it all together and pound for about 10 minutes to release the juices. I prefer to stir it around with a big wooden spoon or my hands for a minute or two then let it sit for an hour or so. Then come back and stir/squish with my hands and let it sit again. After two or three times there is a lot of liquid at the bottom of the bowl and my hands aren't sore! Pack it tightly into the jars and add the whey on top. You want the vegetables to be submerged in their own juices...add some water if need be but leave at least an inch at the top. Cover with a clean cloth or loose lid and allow to ferment at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. You can taste it periodically to see when it reaches the flavor you like or when there are lots of bubbles up at the top and in the liquid on the sides. Transfer to the fridge or cold storage. It will last for several months, unopened. Once you open it, use within a week or so.
This made about one quart, but I put it in two one-quart jars as it's easier for me to work with and then we're only opening one smaller amount at a time so it won't go bad.
The juice for this can be used in Stage 1. In Stage 3 you can start eating the vegetables.