Fiery, funky, tangy, crunchy and completely addictive. A staple in my fridge, kimchi saves the day when it comes to pepping up bland dishes or easily adding the taste of love and goodness to lazy cooking. 

I have experimented with countless iterations of kimchi recipes – some successful and others horrendous disasters. This recipe is my best yet and comes from a lot of reading, Youtub-ing, but most importantly, help from my friend Eun-Ji, her mum Pil-Yong and her boss from the Kang family. I’ve turned a “bunch” of this and a “pinch” of that into quantifiable measurements to get you going. As you begin to make kimchi on a regular basis however, you’ll find yourself resorting back to a “handful” of this here and there, according to what works for you. 

Making kimchi is easy and a very therapeutic process if you give yourself the proper time and space to mindfully get into it. There are a few steps however which are crucial and you shouldn’t be temped to skip or speed up. The most essential step is the very first one – brining the cabbage, which kick-starts the process of lacto-fermentation. 

To find out more about what lactose-fermentation is and how it good for your body, read more here.

Kimchi

Kimchi

0 from 0 votes
Course: Pickles, SideCuisine: KoreanDifficulty: Medium
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Brining time

2

hours

Fiery, funky, tangy, crunchy and completely addictive – kimchi saves the day when it comes to pepping up bland dishes or easily adding the taste of love and goodness to lazy cooking. 

Ingredients

  • Cabbage
  • 1 head Napa cabbage, cut into 1-inch, bite-sized pieces

  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt

  • 1 cup water

  • Porridge
  • 2 cups water

  • 2 tbsp glutinous rice flour

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

  • Seasoning
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 inch-piece ginger, minced

  • 1/4 white onion, minced

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce

  • 1/4 cup natural apple juice

  • 1/4 cup fermented salted shrimp (saeujeot), chopped

  • 2/3 cup best quality gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder)

  • Vegetables
  • 1 medium-sized daikon, cut into matchsticks

  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks

  • 7 spring onions, chopped

  • 1/2 Asian pear, chopped into matchsticks

Directions

  • Cabbage
  • Place cabbage in a very large, non-reactive bowl or plastic tub. Mix together salt and water and stir until sea salt has dissolved. Pour over cabbage and mix together with your hands. Cover with clingfilm and let sit for 2 hours.
  • Porridge
  • Whilst the cabbage is salting, make the porridge. Combine the water and rice flour in a pan and gently whisk over a medium heat till it begins to bubble and thicken – around 10 minutes. Add the sugar, and cook for a further 30 seconds, stirring continuously. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. 
  • Seasoning
  • Once cool, add the minced garlic, ginger and onion to the porridge, swell as the fish sauce, apple juice, fermented salted shrimp and gochugaru. Mix well until you get a paste that isn’t too thick and isn’t too runny. 
  • Vegetables
  • Once the cabbage has been sat in it’s brine for 2 hours, rinse it under cold water to get most of the salt water off. Place back into the very large bowl then toss the cabbage with the spicy red seasoning mixture until well-coated. 
  • Add the sliced daikon, carrot, spring onion and asian pear. Mix well with your hands (use gloves to stop your hands staining). 
  • Place everything into a large jar and compress everything tightly by using your fist to smoosh it down. Keep stuffing until the jar is full and by pushing everything down, a small amount of liquid is sitting above the seasoned vegetables. Close the jar tightly. 
  • Leave the kimchi to sit at room temperature for a day or two. One day on hotter months and two in cooler months. Move to the fridge after a day or two and leave to ferment. It is edible immediately but I like to leave mine for a week or so before I unscrew the lid. The longer you leave it, the more complex in flavour it will become. 
  • When taking kimchi from the jar, use a clean, non-metal implement like a wooden spoon or chopsticks and press everything down again as tightly as you can. You want the kimchi to be sat under a little juice at all times.

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