YIELDS | 8 cups
PREP TIME | 30 minutes plus wait time 2-6 hours
COOK TIME | 3-7 days fermentation
Kimchi is a Korean condiment packed with nutrients. It is very low in calories and it is loaded with probiotics which are said to boost the immune system. Kimchi can be eaten as it is cold or warm. I like it stirfried with riced cauliflower and a few dashes of hot chili oil. There are hundreds of variations of kimchi. For me, many of these recipes have too many ingredients and or steps. I reduced both the list of ingredients and the number of steps to create this super simple and incredibly tasty recipe. To make it yours, add radishes or additional spices… It’s your kimchi so have fun with it!
• 1 head of Napa or regular cabbage, chopped into 2” pieces. Reserve one or two cabbage leaves to use for the fermentation process
• 3 tbsp salt
• Filtered water
• 2” fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine or 2 tsp powdered ginger
• 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
• Small bunch of scallion or chives, chopped fine
• 1 small carrot, diced or cut into matchsticks
• 1/4-1/3 cups red pepper flakes or Korean red pepper called gochugaru
• 2 tbsp fish sauce, soy sauce or water
• Canning jar(s) with lids
1. Put the chopped cabbage in a medium to large bowl, sprinkle with the salt and massage the salt into the cabbage. Add enough water until the cabbage is fully submerged. Place a plate or a lid over the cabbage bowl. Put a can or something heavy on top of the plate and let it sit for at least two hours. I aim for 4 to 6 hours. Note: While the cabbage soaks, prep the rest of the veggies and then begin to make the paste.
2. Put the ginger, red pepper flakes and garlic into a small bowl and add the fish sauce, soy sauce or water and mash together with a spoon, mortar and pestle, or small blender until a paste forms.
3. Drain the cabbage but save the brine (very important). Rinse the cabbage twice.
4. Put the drained, rinsed cabbage and the paste into a medium bowl and massage it together. Don’t be afraid to use your hands. If using the Korean red pepper, you may want to use gloves if your skin is sensitive.
5. Next add the chopped veggies and mix together with the cabbage.
6. Pack the cabbage into clean, dry jars and use the saved brine to fill the jars until the cabbage is covered with liquid. Leave about 1 inch of space between the liquid and the top of the jar.
7. Place the reserved cabbage leaf on top of the cabbage mixture to keep it submerged in the liquid. Screw on the lid just tight enough to seal the jar.
8. Store at room temperature out of direct sunlight.
9. You can ferment kimchi from one day to two weeks. Kimchi is ready when the cabbage is still crisp but has a tangy and slightly sour flavor. When ready move the Kimchi to the refrigerator and enjoy.
That’s right, you don’t have to store Kimchi in the fridge during the fermentation process but you can do so if it makes you feel better.
Taste the Kimchi every few days to see if yet has reached the desired sourness. When it tastes perfect to you, move the kimchi jar to the fridge to slow down the fermentation process.
Kimchi doesn’t really go bad but it ripens so the flavor becomes sourer with time. We usually eat our kimchi within a few weeks but it is still yummy after too but it can become pretty sour over time.