we love kimchi. it not only tastes great, punches you in the head with it's kick, and is terrifically wonderful for your stomach flora - it just feels good to eat! kimchi is a traditional dish that koreans eat a ton of, and they eat it with every meal. there are a million different kinds of kimchi, which is simply fermented veggies, but i am providing a traditional kimchi that my korean teacher taught me many moons ago when i was on my korean language training.
type of kimchi is normally prepared in a ceramic crock and then buried
underground for a minimum of 3 months to ferment. sounds crazy but if
you have ever had "proper", buried-in-a-crock kimchi - oh man there is
nothing like it! and my friend Harry can attest to the fact that if you
spill it - there is no smell like it on earth! but man is it deelish!
- when my korean teacher left korea and came to canada with her husband
and children - she quickly figured out that she needed to make kimchi
regularly for her family as there was no where to buy it (that has since
changed! i am glad to say that ottawa has several korean stores and
markets and we were able to get really good kimchi all of the years that
we lived in ottawa). anyway, i digress. here is the kimchi recipe that
my korean teacher taught me. this stuff is awesome!
off - here's your ingredients: 2 nappa cabbages, several small daikon
radishes (or one big one), coarse sea salt (do not use table salt!),
korean red pepper flakes, a quarter cup of thai fish sauce (i use 2 of
my home-made concentrated fish ice cubes), as many green onions as you like (i like a lot of them in the kimchi), a whole clove of garlic and a
big knob of ginger.
the bottoms off of your nappa cabbage and then peel each leaf. trim any
bad spots. fill a big pot, crock, or as i use, a cleaned and washed
cooler. add a cup of coarse sea salt and about a gallon of water. stir
the water until the salt has dissolved. place all of your trimmed leaves
in the water. use something to make sure that your leaves stay
submerged in the salt brine - i use bottles filled with water.
put your container in a cool, dark place for about 3 hours.
up - grate your daikon radish. this kimchi is so spicy because the daikon radishes were grown in our garden.
crush all of your cloves of garlic, and your ginger, using a garlic press into a big bowl.
add the grated daikon radish, cup of red pepper flakes and fish sauce.
all of your cabbage leaves and green onion. rinse them 2 or three
times. then wrap them in paper towel and a cotton towel - you want the
cabbage leaves to be incredibly dry.
make sure to wear rubber gloves as the red pepper flakes burn. trust me. and don't wipe your eyes or nose. trust me.
each piece of cabbage and rub it with the sauce. rub it into all of the
grooves of the cabbage both front and back. you will feel the cabbage
leaf start to wilt. that's good. when the leaf is covered both front and
back, fold it up and put it in your glass jar.
adding leaves and while doing so, press down as hard as you can so that
the leaves start releasing their liquid. you will think that the jar is
full and then realize that it is only half-full. you can fit a lot of
cabbage leaves folded up like this in a jar.
about a quarter inch of headspace at the top of the jar. keep pressing
down on the cabbage as it will continue to shrink down. when you are
pretty sure that your jar is full - cap it and put it somewhere cool and
dark. i put ours under the bed.
few hours, shake the jars. really shake them. you will notice that a
liquid has now formed and that the cabbage has shrunk down. that's the
fermentation part and that is a good thing. if you see bubbles - that's
good too. you can let your jar ferment up to a week but i never last
past 3 days. once you have decided to end your fermentation phase, put
your jar(s) in the fridge. enjoy with every meal. this recipe isn't the
crock recipe - if using a crock and the proper crock recipe - the kimchi
will keep for a year or longer. this kimchi recipe will keep for about a
month in the fridge.
give it a try. it certainly is an
acquired taste - but if you acquire a taste for it - you'll want it all
the time. i love kimchi!
here's a nice breakfast - zucchini/carrot fritters with sour cream and you guessed it - kimchi! it was awesome!
i hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and hope that you'll make your own kimchi too! it really is good for you!