Yesterday we had a brilliant afternoon making Korean Kimchi!
Despite being advised by our Korean students that it was ‘impossible’ to make in such a short amount of time, I put together an adapted recipe and (hopefully!) made it work!
Lisa brought in jars for us to re-use so each of the students could take their own Kimchi home with them ❤
All was going well until two of our Korean students, Song and Jin Wook, poured the whole 50 grams of curry powder in, instead of the recommended 1 to 2 tablespoons!
We added some extra sugar and watermelon to make it sweeter and take away some of the spice but it was still making us turn red in the face! Song and Jin Wook recommended having with rice when it’s ready to eat, and this will hopefully give it a milder flavour and make it more enjoyable to eat!
It is recommended to wait at least 1 to 5 days so it can ferment, but it can be left (refrigerated) for a few months. I’m looking forward to finding out next week how the flavours have changed after the fermentation period!
To make this at home you can follow my simple adapted recipe below (along with the typical Korean ingredients in red). I prepped the cabbage in the morning so it would have a few hours to soften, and the rest of the recipe took us less than an hour to do! Not impossible after all 🙂
- 1 medium cabbage (napa cabbage)
- 1/4 cup sea salt
- 1 tablespoon grated garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 to 3 tablespoons chilli powder (gochugaru/Korean red pepper flakes)
- 8 ounces radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks (Korean or daikon radish)
- 4 medium spring onions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (scallions)
- Cutting board and knife
- Large bowl
- Plate and something to weigh the kimchi down, like a jar or can of beans
- Jars with canning lid
- Cut the cabbage. Cut the cabbage lengthwise through the stem into quarters. Cut the cores from each piece. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips.
- Salt the cabbage. Place the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften a bit. Add enough water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top of the cabbage and weigh it down with something heavy, like a jar or can of beans. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours.
- Rinse and drain the cabbage. Rinse the cabbage under cold water 3 times. Set aside to drain in a colander for 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the spice paste.
- Make the spice paste. Rinse and dry the bowl you used for salting. Add the garlic, ginger, sugar, and fish sauce and stir into a smooth paste. Stir in the chilli powder, using 1 tablespoon for mild and up to 5 tablespoons for spicy (I like about 3 1/2 tablespoons); set aside until the cabbage is ready.
- Combine the vegetables and spice paste. Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and add it to the spice paste. Add the radish and spring onions.
- Mix thoroughly. Using your hands, gently work the paste into the vegetables until they are thoroughly coated.
- Pack the kimchi into the jar. Press down on the kimchi until the brine rises to cover the vegetables, leaving at least 1 inch of space at the top. Seal the jar.
- Let it ferment for 1 to 5 days. Let the jar stand at cool room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for 1 to 5 days. You may see bubbles inside the jar and brine 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 brine. (This also releases gases produced during fermentation.) Taste a little at this point too. When the kimchi tastes ripe enough for your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator. You may eat it right away, but it’s best after another week or two.