Recipe for Kimchi – A Traditional Korean Ferment

by | Jul 11, 2018

My Recipe | How to make Kimchi!

Fermented Foods

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Travelling to other countries like Korea inspires me to attend cooking classes to learn more about the local cuisine and its centuries of old traditions. 

Korean cuisine can be on the spicy side, however, it is largely a rice-based diet including meats and vegetables. Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish of spicy pickled cabbage and vegetables. This dish is generally served at each meal.

Fermented foods have existed for thousands of years. Over the last few decades, fermented foods have been in the headlines and often referred to as a superfood. Look online and you will see there is a lot of information on this topic.

The purpose of this video is based on providing a quick demonstration and an easy to follow recipe.

Kimchi is deliciously healthy, rolled up in Rice wraps. Yum Yum. 

Kimchi Recipe

Ingredients

1/2 large wombok cabbage (about 1kg)
Sea Salt (good quality)
1/2 brunch of red radish or 3/4 daikon (sliced or grated)
2-3 carrots (grated)
1/2 brunch spring onions/shallots (sliced)
1 onion (medium size)
4 garlic cloves (peeled)
2.5cm fresh Ginger
1-2 fresh red chilli (deseeded)
2-3 tbs Korean red chilli powder (Asian store)
1-2 tbs fish sauce (good quality)

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Equipment

Cutting board and knife
Large stainless steel bowl and measuring spoons
Food processor / blender / Stick blender / scraper
Kitchen gloves (optional but highly recommended)
Tray and something to weigh the Kimchi down, like a jar or can of beans
Clean glass jars and secure lids
Tray to place under jars during fermentation

Method

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Salt the cabbage: Mix up 2-4 litres of salted water (approximately 20 grams of salt per litre)
Rinse cabbage under tap then soak cabbage in salted water for 3 – 24 hours
Cover and ensure the cabbage is covered by the water. You may need to submerge the cabbage down.

Prepare the vegetables: Drain the cabbage, reserve the salted water (See recipe notes)
Give the cabbage a squeeze, roughly chop and place in a clean bowl
To this, add grated carrot and radish; and sliced spring onions

Make Kimchi Paste: Place the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender. Puree to a rich, pungent red paste.

Combine the vegetables and paste: Pour paste over vegetables and with gloved hands (trust me!), massage the paste through the vegetables. Taste for salt, if the salt taste is mild, add a little more.

Pack the Kimchi into jars, (the optimum is to have just a centimetre or two of space left at the top of the jar). If, when you push down on the vegetables, no liquid comes up, pour just enough of the reserved salted water over to cover. Now you need to submerge down your vegetables. Use a folded-up cabbage leaf or cabbage core and a stub of carrot to push the vegetables down and keep the vegetables submerged during fermentation. Seal the jar with the lid.

Let It Ferment

Let it ferment: Place the jars on a tray in a cool place out of sunlight for 1 to 5 days. You may see bubbles inside the jar and liquid may seep out of the lid. Place a bowl or plate under the jar to help catch any overflow.

Check it daily and refrigerate when ready: Check the kimchi once a day, pressing down on the vegetables with a clean finger or spoon to keep them submerged under the liquid.

The most important thing of all is KEEP YOUR VEGETABLES SUBMERGED.

The length of fermentation depends upon the season – the ambient temperature – and your tastes. In summer it may be ready in a couple of days, and in winter you can continue to ferment it for up to a week.

When the Kimchi tastes to your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator. You may eat it right away, but it’s generally tastes best after another week or two.

 

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Recipe Notes

Salt: Use iodine free salt with no anti-caking agents
Water: Retain salted cabbage water in case you need to add more water to cover the vegetable at the end
Korean Chilli Powder / Flakes: Available at Asian Grocery Stores
Fish Sauce: Red Boat is my favourite brand and available at Asian Grocery Stores

The most important thing of all is KEEP YOUR VEGETABLES SUBMERGED.

“I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.”

W.C. Fields

American actor, comedian, writer and juggler!

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