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A Kimchi Commencement

Some of my favourite people have been making kimchi around me for a long while, but I’d never tried my hand at making the delicious, spicy pickle-like Korean delight. That has changed in an evening and now I have a collection of jars a-fermenting. I modified a recipe from theKitchn titled “How to Make Easy Kimchi at Home” to accommodate my local grocery store’s disappointing selection of produce and my desire to simplify the process. It makes enough to fill a 1 quart or 1 litre jar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 two-pound cabbage (Use napa if you can; I used a green cabbage)
  • 1/4 cup table salt
  • 1 tbs grated garlic (5-6 cloves)
  • 1 tps grated ginger
  • 5 tbs red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  • 8 oz or 225 g radish, diced (Use daikon if you can; I used a European radish)
  • 4 green onions or scallions, diced
  • water (use spring water if your tap water is chemically treated)

Directions:

  1. Quarter the cabbage, cut out the core and cut the cabbage into 1-2 inch x 1 inch pieces.
  2. Place the cabbage and salt in a large bowl. Massage the salt into the cabbage to cover uniformly.
  3. Add water to submerge cabbage, cover with a weighted plate and let stand for 2 hours.
  4. Rinse the cabbage 3 times with cold water, drain through a colander for 20 minutes.
  5. Combine the garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and about 3 tbs water. Mix to form a paste, adding water if needed.
  6. Press out any remaining water from the cabbage and mix with radish and green onions in a bowl.
  7. Add the paste and massage it into the vegetables until they are uniformly coated.
  8. Place the vegetables into the jar, pressing down firmly with each handful. Leave about 1 inch from the top. Add water if the vegetables are not completely submerged in the brine.
  9. Seal the jar with the lid and place on a plate or bowl to catch any overflow as it ferments.
  10. Check the jar daily and press down the vegetables to keep them submerged.
  11. After about 5 days, taste the kimchi. If it is strong enough for your tastes, refrigerate and enjoy. Otherwise, keep going and check it each day. It ages well, so give it as much time as you like.

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