I made kimchi! Dayam!
Time to completion: about 3.5 hours, not including 24+ hours to ferment at room temperature. The amount of time to ferment is dependent on how sour you happen to like your cabbage.
Two batches of kimchi in the process of fermentation
I’m still, even today, am ridiculously thrilled at my accomplishment. Even The Hubbs commented on how happy I looked everytime I took a peak inside the container. If he could have, he said he would’ve given me a gold star for my achievement.
The recipe I cobbled together to make the kimchi, is an amalgamation of three different methods, all originally gleaned from Youtube:
1) Aeris Kitchen — This is the primary recipe I used with a couple of changes made, using #2.
2) Maangchi — This is the recipe that originally piqued my interest.
3) Korean Cuisine — Easiest to follow recipe instructions when you just wanna take a quick glance at the next step.
And because I am that ridiculously thrilled, I need to post a few pics of things before we start:
Ingredients needed for kimchi: napa cabbage, korean radish, garlic chives, green onions carrot, onion, water, salt, sweet rice flour, sugar, apple pear, korean red pepper flakes, fish sauce, garlic, ginger.
Oh, and one ingredient that is of the utmost importance to making kimchi, once you’ve decided to start the ball rolling at 800am, while still hungover and running on about 5 hours of sleep with an on-again/off-again residual pain meds headache:
A cat who thinks you’re a freak to be doing stuff like this so early on a Saturday morning.
The recipe, at a glance, looks scary, hard and time consuming, but I managed to complete the whole affair in just over 3.5 hours and that was with the inclusion of a 45 minute nap during the cabbage salting process. If anything, get your meez for each step in place and the recipe will just fly. A lot of the stuff like veggie cutting can be done while the cabbage is salting, so it’s not like you’re sitting around twiddling your thumbs waiting for stuff to happen before moving things along.
I’ve divided the recipe ingredients into 5 parts — cabbage & brine, veggies, rice porridge mixture, apple mixture, red pepper mixture. This makes it easier to just glance at what ingredients you need for each step of kimchi making.
There’s a lot of chopping involved.
I’ve since learned, from SALLY making her permament residence, that having a food processor is quite handy. Some of the veggies I chopped by hand, and others, I just stuck into the food processor with the shredding disc. It’s not an authentic procedure, but it works for me.
Just a couple notes on stuff you want to have handy:
– Utensils you don’t care about staining: pretty self-explanetory, but just so you’re not taken by surprise that everything the pepper powder touches will turn red or orange, now you know.
– Large weight like a pot filled with water (if the pot’s not heavy enough on its own): to weigh down the cabbage during the salting process. I used my big red cast iron pot.
– Adequately sized container(s): for salting cabbage, mixing kimchi, storing the finished kimchi! At minimum, you need 2 monster sized mixing bowls for prep work and at least 2(1L) glass large lock’n’lock containers for the finished kimchi, depending on how you want to store your finished kimchi.
– Pair of kitchen gloves: You don’t want burny, red-stained, hands. Trust me. (My one finger is still pretty orange from where there was a hole in my rubber glove).
Think you’re ready to take on the kimchi?
Easy Homemade Kimchi
1 large napa cabbage
10 cups water
2/3 cup salt, for sprinkling
1/2 cup salt, for brine
2 cups korean radish, shredded
1 cup carrot, shredded
1/2 onion, shredded
1 cup garlic chives, cut into 2″ lengths
2 cups water
3 Tbsp sweet rice flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 apple pear, peeled & de-seeded
1/2 small onion
3 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 Tbsp minced ginger
1 1/4 cup korean red pepper flakes, fine powdered
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/2 Tbsp salt, optional
* Fill sink with cold water.
* Make brine of 10 cups cold water + 1/2 cup salt. Stir until salt is dissolved. Set aside.
* Slice napa cabbage into quarters. Remove the core from each section and cut cabbage into bite sized pieces.
* Throw half the cabbage into the sink and swish around in cold water.
* Remove from water and put into large bowl. Sprinkle cabbage with 1/3 cup of salt and toss to coat evenly.
* Dump remaining half of chopped cabbage into sink and repeat as above, sprinkling cabbage with remaining 1/3 cup salt.
* Pour salt water solution over bowl of salted cabbage and place heavy weight on top to keep everything submerged.
* Leave cabbage for 2 hours, tossing half-way through to ensure everything’s well-salted.
* Cut garlic chives into 2″ lengths. Set aside.
* Cut korean radish, carrots, and 1/2 onion into fine matchsticks or shred in food processor.
* Set veggies aside with garlic chives.
* After 2 hours, remove cabbage from salt water and rinse & drain, well, 3 times in cold water.
* Set cabbage aside in colandar to drain while preparing remaining ingredients.
* In a small pot over medium heat, combine 2 cups of water with 3Tbsp sweet rice flour.
* Stir mixture constantly, until thickened and bubbles start appearing on the surface.
* Stir in 2Tbsp sugar and cook until mixture becomes translucent. Set aside to cool slightly.
* In a blender, combine garlic, remaining 1/2 onion, apple pear, and ginger together. Puree until smooth and set aside.
* In a super-huge-ginormo bowl, pour in rice porridge mixture and add korean red pepper flakes. Stir well to combine.
* Add fish sauce and apple mixture, stirring well to combine.
* If needed, drain & discard any excess moisture from shredded veggies. Add veggies to bowl.
* Wearing gloves, mix well. Taste mixture and add salt, to taste, if desired.
* Add drained cabbage to the bowl and mix until everything is completely coated with the red pepper mixture and vegetables are evenly distributed.
* Divide mixture into containers, as desired, and cover containers.
* Leave containers at room temperature 24 hours to ferment before refridgerating.
*Optional: Leave containers to ferment longer, up to 1 week. Taste once a day to check for flavour. When desired flavour is achieved, refridgerate.
Guess what? You’ve just made kimchi! :D
And because I am still, still, STILL so proud of myself, you get a close-up shot of my kimchi: Notice the wonderful juices starting to accumulate in the top left corner after 24 hours? Key ingredient for awesome Bokkeumpbop!