In recent years kimchi has become more and more popular in North America. Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine. It is salted and fermented spicy vegetables, traditionally napa cabbage and radishes. I had never made kimchi before but I was curious to make some. It is a process to make but is by no means hard.
I started my kimchi by taking napa cabbage and cutting it into 2 inch squares. I placed the cabbage into a bowl and rubbed it with salt (gloves come in handy) until it started to soften a bit.
I filled the bowl with enough water to cover the cabbage and placed a plate in the bowl to ensure that the cabbage was submerged in the water. I let it sit this way for 2 hours.
I then rinsed the cabbage under cold water and let it drain in a colander for 20 minutes. I did this 3 times.
Meanwhile made my paste by combining garlic, ginger, sugar and fish sauce. Once combined I mixed in a combination of Ichimi Togarashi (a Japanese chili pepper spice) and red pepper flakes. Traditionally though you would use gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes).
I squeezed the remaining water from the cabbage and placed it a bowl with daikon radish and scallions. Using gloves (which I very much recommend!) I mixed the veggies with the paste thoroughly.
I packed the veggies in a jar, large enough to have one inch of headspace. I pressed down on the veggies enough so that the brine would cover them. I sealed with a lid and placed the jar in my pantry.
Once a day I opened the jar and pressed the veggies down so that they would be covered in the brine.
After 3 days I placed the jar in my refrigerator. And after 5 more days my kimchi was ready to eat!
How did it taste: Wow, I really like this kimchi. I really enjoyed the heat that came from using 2 different types of pepper flakes/spice. If you have never made kimchi before this is an easy enough recipe to follow. I am excited to use my kimchi!
- 1 (2 lb) head napa cabbage, cut into quarters, core removed and cut into 2 inch squares
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- 1 TB garlic, grated
- 1 tsp ginger, grated
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 TB fish sauce
- 1 TB Ichimi Togarashi (Japanese chili pepper spice)
- 2 TB red pepper flakes
- ½ lb daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 4 scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces
- Place the cabbage in a bowl and using your hands (gloves if you have them) massage the salt into the cabbage until the cabbage starts to soften. Add enough water to the bowl to cover the cabbage. Place a plate in the bowl to keep the cabbage submerged in the water. Let the bowl stand for 2 hours.
- Rinse the cabbage under cold water and let it strain in a colander for 20 minutes. Repeat this process 3 times.
- Meanwhile make a paste by combining garlic, ginger, sugar and fish sauce. Mix in both chili peppers (feel free to add more/less depending on how spicy you want the kimchi to be).
- Squeeze excess water from the cabbage and place it in a bowl with the radish and scallions. Using your hands (with gloves on highly recommended) mix the veggies and the paste thoroughly.
- Place the veggies in a jar (or jars depending on size of jars you have) pushing down the veggies so that brine covers them. The jar(s) will need at least 1 inch of headspace.
- Place the jars in a pantry or other dry dark spot. Once a day open the jar(s) and push the veggies below the brine. Do this for 3 days and then place the jar(s) in the refrigerator. After 5 days in the refrigerator the kimchi is ready to eat.
- I use a mixture of chili flakes. Traditionally Korean red pepper flakes, called gochugaru is used. Feel free to experiment with chili peppers and vegetables.