As said in my previous post, the most difficult part of making Kimchi is getting the proper ingredients. Even though some people just ferment any veg with ginger and garlic and called it Kimchi, I recommend to be a bit more ambitious and at least use legitimate Nappa cabbage as the base.
Of course, my recipe would be hilarious to a native Korean, especially as I don’t add seafood (except for fish sauce sometimes). But, to me, the final product looks and taste more or less like Kimchi. So, here it is:
You will need:
4 Nappa cabbages
Half cup of salt (I use Irish Atlantic salt)
1 small daikon
4 medium carrots
Bunch of spring onions
1 medium leek
4 tablespoons of glutinous rice flour
2 spoons of brown sugar
5 cm piece of ginger
6 garlic cloves
6 (or more) spoons of gochugaru
Half cup of fish sauce (optional)
- Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Chop them into about 5 cm long pieces.
- Soak the pieces in cold water for about 30 min
- Strain the water out and mix the cabbage with salt
- Leave for 1 ½ hours turning the leaves over every 30 min
- In the meantime, mix the flour with about a litre of water, bring to boil and cook for a few minutes; add sugar and cook for one more minute; set aside to cool down
- Rinse the cabbage in cold water and strain well
- Chop or grate the carrot, radish, leek and spring onions
- If the flour mixture is not warm anymore, add grated ginger, crushed garlic and gochugaru to it and stir well; it will look like paste
- Mix the paste with cabbage and the rest of the vegetables; I call this part the Kimchi spa because you have to do this with your hands; it feels so pampering and smells heavenly.
- Put the mixture into jars, cover with lids (don’t forget to place a piece of baking paper under each lid) and leave at the room temperature for about 5 days (for some reason, I always forget to take a picture at this stage); if you used 4 Napa cabbage heads, you will probably need three 1-liter jars but prepare four, just in case.
- When you are happy with the taste (for me, it usually happens after 4-5 days), move your jars to the fridge.
- Enjoy as a side dish, condiment or standalone meal.
- As with all fermented food, you can safely keep your jars in the fridge for months.