Kimchi is hot, salty and pungent. It a staple in all Korean kitchens, and is eaten at nearly every meal. Like all traditional foods, the exact recipe differs from region to region and from house to house. It also varies based on the availability of ingredients and personal taste.
I make a kimchi that is pretty stripped down to suit to my North American diet. I also make my kimchi without raw squid, oysters or fish sauce. But that is mainly because I’m just not that brave. (Yet… though I imagine that I will be exploring fermented meats at some point!) To keep it simple I make kimchi in mason jars, allowing for smaller batches that can be tailored based on personal taste (my kids prefer it without the hot pepper flakes).
If you’re looking to make a more traditional kimchi, then I recommend exploring Maanchi.com. Also take the time to watch the video: How to Make Kimchi: according to my Kun Umma for an entertaining look at kimchi and the Korean-Canadian immigrant life.
- 4 Tablespoons non-iodized salt
- 4 cups of water
- 1 large head of napa cabbage
- 1 daikon radish
- 3 carrots
- 4 green onions
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2-inch knob of ginger
- 1 - 2 Tablespoons red chili pepper flakes (using gochugaru is traditional)
- Dissolve the salt in the water to make a brine.
- Roughly chop the cabbage, and submerge it in the brine for at least 5 hours, up to 24 hours.
- After soaking, drain the cabbage, reserving some of the brine.
- Dice the radish, carrots and green onions into sticks.
- Place yellow onion, garlic, ginger and chili pepper flakes into a food processor and chop until it becomes a paste.
- Mix the all the vegetables and the paste together. Pack into 2 mason jars using a spoon to really pound it down in.
- Add leftover brine to cover the vegetables as needed.
- Allow to ferment in a cool location for up to 3 days. It is traditional to eat kimchi while it is still in the sparkling stages of fermentation.
- Place it in the refrigerator to stop fermentation.