If you've never made kimchi before, the process seems to sound quite intimidating. However, making your own kimchi doesn't have to be a laborious task if you follow this Mak-Kimchi (meaning Easy Kimchi) recipe by Maangchi. It requires only one and a half hours of salting the cabbage.
While the cabbage is salting, you can cook the porridge which serves as the base for the paste. Then prepare the paste by blending onion, garlic, ginger, pear or apple (optional), Korean red chilli pepper and fish sauce in a food processor. I cut down on the garlic since I don't like strong garlicky taste; and you can adjust the amount of chilli pepper to your liking. There are recipes which call for addition of some kind of salted seafood like shrimps, squids, oysters, etc but I prefer not to add these.
Finally, just mix the cabbage and other vegetables together with the paste and pack them into air-tight plastic containers and refrigerate them. I personally prefer to bottle my kimchi in glass jars as I find that glass jars with tight lids tend to keep the kimchi smell contained. The first few times I made kimchi I stored them in plastic containers and boy, every time when I opened the fridge, I was hit by the funky smell of the kimchi!
Usually kimchi is left in room temperature for a day or two to start the fermentation process before storing in the fridge. However I skipped this step and put the jars straight into the fridge to let them ferment slowly. I am not fond of eating sour kimchi which indicates that they are over-fermented unless I am cooking with it.
Do you know that kimchi is a probiotic food, like yogurt - it aids digestion and helps strengthen our immune system?
Salting Cabbage:2.7kg Napa cabbage
1/2 cup sea salt
- Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters, remove the cores and cut into bite-size pieces.
- Soak cabbage pieces in cold water, then transfer them into a large mixing bowl or basin.
- Sprinkle salt over the cabbage and mix well. Every half an hour so turn the cabbage over so that the salt are evenly distributed. (Total salting time: 1 hr 30 mins)
- Rinse the cabbage 3 times to wash the salt off thoroughly. Drain and set aside.
2 cups water
2 tbsp glutinous rice flour
2 tbsp sugar
- In a small saucepan, mix flour into the water and stir to combine.
- Cook over medium heat until it starts bubbling.
- Add in sugar and stir for a few more minutes until it is translucent.
- Remove saucepan from the heat and set aside to cool.
1/2 cup fish sauce
2 cups hot pepper flakes
2 small nashi pears
- Blend all the ingredients together in the food processor and then mix in the porridge. Stir well to combine.
Vegetables:265g radish, julienned
110g carrot, julienned
4 stalks spring onion, cut diagonally
To put together the kimchi:
- Put the paste into a large mixing bowl and add in radish, carrot, spring onion and cabbage. Mix well.
- Pack kimchi into jars, leaving about an inch of space below the lid.
- Keep kimchi in the fridge to ferment.