I have been hooked on kimchi ever since I discovered it. When I came across a recipe to make it at home a few years ago I leapt at the chance. After looking at a lot of recipes that I found on the web I decided to make a simple kimchi for my first version that contained pretty much only the required ingredients. That first batch of kimchi turned out so well that since then I have made it dozens of times and my fridge has never been without at least one batch in it the whole while. I was so pleased with that recipe that I quickly forgot that I had fully intended to revisit it and try a more advanced one later on. I recently recalled that fact and set about coming up with a new version.
Although the first version was really good and had all of the required flavours and textures including the crunchy cabbage, the garlic overtones, the spiciness and the the sourness that develops with fermentation over time, it lacked the subtle complexities of most restaurant style kimchi. Right off the bat I recalled that I purposely skipped adding the radish and the sugar to the original version and when added they bring a nice bite and a hint of sweetness to kimchi so they had to go in this time. Instead of just adding sugar like many recipes call for I used the trick of replacing sugar with a grated Asian pear or apple that I learned while making bulgogi a while ago. In addition to adding some natural sweetness the pear or apple brings a hint of flavour adding another layer of complexity. I also decided to add some grated onion for a bit of pungency and a shredded carrot for a bit of colour and another touch of sweetness.
The next major difference in this recipe is the use of a rice flour based porridge. I came across the idea of using the porridge in a recipe for kimchi that I found on Maangchi while searching for recipe ideas. The rice flour porridge help moisten the gochugaru, Korean chili pepper flakes, and mix in and meld all of the other flavours before you mix it into the cabbage. The porridge also helps to get the flavours into all of the nooks and crannies of the cabbage so that every bite is full of flavour.
Kimchi version 2.0 turned out so amazingly well with richer and deeper flavours and more subtle complexities! This new version definitely rivals any kimchi that I have ever had at a restaurant. I can’t wait to start using it as an ingredient in new dishes!
- 1 large (5 pound) napa cabbage (or two medium sized)
- 1/2 cup coarse salt
- 1/4 cup sweet rice flour (mochi)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup fish sauce (or soy sauce for a vegetarian version)
- 2 cups gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes)
- 1/2 cup garlic (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon ginger (grated)
- 1 small onion (grated)
- 1/2 Asian pear (grated)
- 1/2 Fuji apple (grated)
- 1 cup daikon radish (shredded)
- 1/4 cup carrot (shredded)
- 1 bunch green onions (sliced)
- Cut the napa cabbage in half, remove the core and slice the cabbage into 1 inch wide strips.
- Soak the cabbage in cold water for 10 minutes.
- 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. (Use two bowls if needed.)
- Let the cabbage sit for 1 1/2 hours mixing it up every 1/2 hour.
- Rinse the cabbage three times, drain and set aside.
- Mix the flour and water in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer while stirring.
- Remove from heat and let it cool.
- Mix flour mixture and the remaining ingredients, save the cabbage.
- Mix the porridge into the cabbage well using your hands to make sure that it covers all of the cabbage.
- Place the cabbage mixture into sealable containers leaving about an inch of space at the top.
- Seal the container and let ferment at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- Place the container in the fridge and let ferment for a couple more days.
Brussels Sprout Hash with Sweet Potato and Bacon
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
Peameal Bacon and Kimchi Breakfast Muffin
Kimchi Chicken Melt
Spicy Pork Bulgogi Banh Mi
Spicy Pork Bulgogi and Beans Burrito
The Kimchi Rachel Sandwich (aka Roast Turkey Reuben Sandwich with Kimchi)
Kongnamul Bap (Korean Beansprout Rice Bowl)
Hot Cheesy Roasted Brussels Sprout, Bacon and Kimchi Dip
Roasted Butternut Squash, Shiitake Mushroom and Kale, Kimchi Bibimsoba
Korean Bulgogi and Kimchi Nachos
Korean Style Cold Tofu Shirataki Noodle Salad with Shrimp
Kimchi Reuben Sandwich
Korean Bulgogi and Pear Kale Salad
Korean Kimchi Meatloaf