Haven’t done this in years but it seemed the right time now to dive a little deeper into fermentation! …and kimchi is definitely one of my favorite ferments. It’s also incredibly healthy.
I made a little lazy version compared to the traditional pre-preparation of the cabbage itself but it works perfectly well.
This version is not vegan.
- 1 large Napa cabbage (optional Chinese cabbage)
- about 1 cup coarse sea salt
- 2 cups white radish, thinly sliced
- 1 pear (preferably Korean pear), thinly sliced
- 3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
- water to cover the cabbage (about 5 cups)
- 3 – 4 scallions, thinly chopped
- 1,5 tbsp tapioca starch
- 1/2 cup Korean red chili pepper flakes: “gochugaru” (고추가루) they can’t be substituted
- 1/4 cup salted shrimp (saeujeot), finally minced
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tbsp minced or pressed garlic
- 1 tbsp minced or pressed ginger
- sesame (optional)
- cut the cabbage lengthwise in half, remove the thick white heart in the middle, cut into bite-sized slices and rinse carefully
- cut the carrots into bite-sized stripes as well and transfer them together with the cabbage into a large bowl
- add 1 cup of salt to the bowl as well as water to cover the ingredients (about 5 cups)
- massage and distribute well, set it aside for about 2,5h and mix through from time to time
- meanwhile prepare the base for the marinade: mix starch carefully and partly with 2 cups cold water and bring it to simmer, stir frequently
- if paste evenly thickened set aside and let it cool down
- add gochugaru, ginger, garlic, salted shrimp, maple syrup and fish sauce to the rice paste (it’s supposed to be very salty), mix well and let it draw through for at least 30 min to make sure that the chili flakes start to dissolve in the paste
- cut / chop radish, scallions and pear
- if the cabbage is ready (should be softened), rinse well (about 3 min) under cold water
- put all ingredients in a large bowl together (+sesame if you like), use gloves and massage well
- pile kimchi in an airtight container and push down every layer to avoid air bubbles
- close and leave it outside at room temperature for 2-3 days
Kimchi tastes different in every state of its ripeness and it’s super interesting to go to the whole process. It lasts very long in the fridge.