Over the past few months I have been trying some Korean cuisine. One thing that keeps coming up in my exploration of Korean cuisine is kimchi. Kimchi is fermented raw vegetables. One of the most common forms of kimchi is made with cabbage and chili. Up until now I have been buying my kimchi in little jars from the store but it was a bit expensive. I have seen several posts about how to make your own kimchi that sounded pretty easy. I decided to try making my own kimchi.
Making your own kimchi turned out to be really easy. There was only a few minutes of work and a lot of waiting. I let my kimchi ferment for about 2 weeks before trying it. I did a side by side comparison with what was left of my store bought kimchi and my homemade kimchi. I liked mine a lot better than the store bought one. It had a lot more flavour and it was more balanced. Given that kimchi only gets better with age I will have to see how it is in a few more weeks. I should get started on another batch as well. I wish I had a bit more room in my fridge...
Making kimchi requires fish sauce which you should be able to find in the Asian section of your local grocery store. Kimchi also requires gochugaru which is Korean chili flakes. You should be able to find big bags of the gochugaru at your local Asian grocery store. Gochugaru is not quite as hot as red pepper flakes and is a little sweet and all round very good. It is used in many Korean dishes.
1 medium napa cabbage (about 2-3 pounds)
1/2 cup salt
1 bunch green onions (sliced into 1 inch pieces)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 inch ginger (grated)
1 cup gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes)
2 tablespoons fish sauce (or soy sauce for a vegetarian version)
1. Cut the napa cabbage in half, remove the core and slice the cabbage into 1 inch wide strips.
2. Place a layer of cabbage into a large bowl and sprinkle some salt onto the cabbage. Repeat until all of the cabbage is in the bowl and salted.
3. Let the cabbage sit in the salt for a few hours.
4. Rinse the salt from the cabbage.
5. Mix the cabbage, green onions, garlic, ginger, gochugaru and fish sauce in the large bowl.
6. Place the cabbage mixture into a sealable container leaves a couple of inches at the top.
7. Seal the container and let ferment at room temperature for 2-3 days.
8. Place the container in the fridge and let ferment for a couple more days.
Recipes that use Kimchi:
Kimchi Bokkeumbap (Kimchi Fried Rice)
Bibim Guksu (Soba and Kimchi Salad)
Kimchi Jjigae (Pork and Kimchi Stew)
Zucchini and Kimchi Quinoa Salad
Zucchini and Kimchi Quiche with a Brown Rice Crust
Kimchi, Bacon and Shiitake Mushroom Pizza
Kimchi Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Gochujang Ketchup for Dipping
Corned Beef, Cabbage and Kimchi Burrito
Kimchi Reuben Sandwich
Kimchi Version 2.0
Bean Sprout Kimchi
Take a look at the Weekend Herb Blogging roundup at Kochtopf.