There are many different kinds of kimchi, and Koreans eat kimchi everyday. There are even songs about kimchi such as “I Can’t Live Without Kimchi.” Moms love to have a good kimchi refrigerator. Today I will post the most common kimchi, “napa cabbage kimchi.” Kimchi is a dish of fermented vegetables with various seasonings. It is a traditional dish in Korea.
Yield: 1 Gallon
Short Korean Lesson
- SutGaRak (숟가락) = Spoon
- JeotGaRak (젓가락) = Chopsticks
- 1 Large Napa Cabbage (4 lb)
- 2 Cups Korean Radish
- 1 Cup Garlic Chives
- 5 Green Onions
- 1 Onion
- 2 Hot Peppers
- 10 Cups Water
- ½ Cup Coarse Sea Salt (For Salt Water)
- ⅔ Cup Coarse Sea Salt (For Sprinkling)
- 2 Cups Water + (3 Tbsp Water and 3 Tbsp Sweet Rice Flour)
- ¼ Sweet Apple + ¼ Onion
- 1¼ Cup Red Pepper Powder for Kimchi
- 1 to 2 Tbsp Sugar
- ¼ to ⅓ Cup Fish Sauce
- 3 Tbsp Minced Garlic
- ½ Tbsp Minced Ginger
- ½ Tbsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
Remove any bad parts from the napa cabbage.
Divide the napa cabbage into 4 pieces. Some people divide it half, but I prefer 4 pieces, since 4 pieces are easier to put in a jar and cut later.
In a huge bowl, combine 10 cups of water and ½ cup coarse sea salt to make salt water. Stir until the salt is dissolved.
Prepare ⅔ cup coarse sea salt. Divide the salt evenly for 4 pieces of cabbage. Sprinkle the salt inside each leaf. Put more salt on the thicker parts than the thinner parts. This step is important to make kimchi. The right amount of salt and time to marinate the cabbage will change the results of your kimchi.
Dip the cabbage in the salt water. Put some heavy thing (like a big pan full of water) on top of the cabbage to keep them under the brine. That will help the cabbage to get salted better. Leave it for 4 to 5 hours until the cabbage leaves become a little soft.
Rinse the salted cabbage twice in water.
Drain the water, and set it aside for about 2 hours until more of the water drips out: or you can squeeze the water out.
Mix 3 Tbsp of sweet rice flour and 3 Tbsp of water.
In a pan add the mixture and 2 cups of water. Boil it until it makes bubbles on medium. Keep stirring it so that it will not stick to the bottom. It took about 10 minutes for mine.
Cut the radish very thinly into 2-inch lengths.
Cut 5 green onions the same length as the radish.
Cut the garlic chives into 1½-inch Pieces.
Cut 2 hot peppers thinly and slice ¾ of an onion thinly.
Grind ¼ of an onion and ¼ of a sweet apple.
In a big bowl, add the rice flour mixture, 1¼ cup of red pepper powder, and 2 cups of radish. Mix everything together.
Add the rest of the ingredients: chopped onion, hot peppers, garlic chives, green onion, onion & apple mixture, 1 to 2 Tbsp of sugar, ¼ to ⅓ cups of fish sauce, 3 Tbsp of minced garlic, ½ Tbsp of minced ginger, and 2 Tbsp of sesame seeds. Mix all of the ingredients well. Taste it and salt it to your tastes. I added ½ Tbsp of salt.
Spread some of the mixture into each leaf of the cabbage. Make sure all of the surfaces get covered in the sauce.
Wow! At last, it is done!
I prefer to use a glass jar to keep kimchi since the kimchi has a strong smell. It is easier to remove the smell from glass jars than from plastic containers, and glass helps to contain the smell. Keep the kimchi at room temperature for about a day, and then put it in the refrigerator. You can eat kimchi before it is fermented, but it tastes best when it is properly fermented. (In about 1 week, depending on your refrigerator’s temperature.) Even old (sour) kimchi can be a delicious dish if you cook it and make: fried kimchi rice, kimchi dumplings, kimchi jeon, Kimchi soup, and etc. Enjoy!
Tips for delicious kimchi: *^^*
- Good ingredients are important, especially the Red Pepper Powder and Napa Cabbage.
- Getting the right amount of salt for marinating the napa cabbage in the salt water is very important. You don’t want the kimchi to be too salty, but if it doesn’t have enough salt, it becomes sour too quickly, and it produces too much juice later. Use coarse sea salt, not normal salt.
- Depending on your personal tastes, it is good to add raw oysters or salted shrimp (SaeUJeot) also.