Saturday, September 11, 2010

Kim Chi

Kim Chi is a piquant condiment of fermented cabbage with  seasonings which is  the most common Korean side dish.  Koreans serve Kim Chi at almost every meal, yes, even for breakfast!  It is an acquired taste although Kim Chi is said to be very beneficial to our health.  Since heat is not used in the preparation of Kim Chi , fermentation also retains enzymes, vitamins, and other nutrients that are usually destroyed by cooking or processing.   This recipe was adapted from  Dr Ben Kim's recipe on healthy meals.


1kg napa cabbage, cut into big pieces
3 carrot, cut into sticks
1 daikon, cut into sticks (optional)
1/4 cup sea salt dissolved in 1/2 cup of warm water
500ml cold water (or enough to cover all the cabbage pieces)
1/4 cup red chilli flakes/chilli powder
4 cloves garlic
1 knob ginger
1/2 small brown onion
1/2 ripe Nashi pear (peeled and cut into chunks)
1/2 ripe apple (peeled and cut into chunks)
4 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp sugar
3 spring onions, sliced

Optional:  To make the glutinous rice paste:   Cook 1 tbsp glutinous rice flour with 1/2 cup water  over low heat until the mixture has thickened and turned white and bubbly.  

  • Dissolve the sea salt in warm water and add in the cold water.  Stir well.
  • Place cabbage, carrots and daikons in a big mixing bowl and pour salt water over it.  Toss gently.  Leave vegetables in the brine for  about 3 hours, making sure that they are all fully submerged in the salt water.
  • Wash the vegetables (3 times)  to rinse off excess salt.  Squeeze and drain well.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  • Place pear, apple, onion, ginger, garlic, sugar and glutinous rice paste into a blender and blend until fine.  Then add in chilli flakes and fish sauce.  Combine well.
  • Add sliced spring onions and carrots  to the cabbage.  Pour in the blended paste and toss well.  
  • Once all the cabbage has been coated, transfer to an airtight glass container and press down the cabbage, carrot and daikon.  Pour in the liquid as well.    (Do not fill right up to the rim).
  • Cover and store the Kim Chi  in a cool, dark place for 24 hours to stimulate the fermentation process.  Then refrigerate it.  Kim Chi keeps well in the refrigerator for 3 - 4 weeks.

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