I’ve made homemade kimchi before but I have yet to write about it because I wasn’t too familiar with the process of making it yet. This time is the second time I’ve made kimchi and although I’m not as good as making it as all the Korean mama’s out there, I don’t think my recipe strays too far from traditional ones.
2 heads of napa cabbage (around 3 pounds)
1/2 cup korean coarse grain sea salt
5 cloves grated garlic
2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup fish sauce or water
1/2 – 3/4 cup korean red pepper flakes (or more if you like)
1 cup carrots (julienned and peeled)
It’s picklin’ time:
1. Cut the napa cabbage into 2″ thick bite sized pieces. Soak the pieces of cabbage in cold water and sprinkle the salt on top of it. The cabbage leaves will have to soak for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours until they soften up. Be sure to turn the cabbage leaves over every 30 minutes or so to insure that the salt is coated evenly throughout.
2. When the leaves are soft, rinse them under 3 cycles of cold water to get rid of some of the salt.
3. Combine the kimchi paste ingredients (garlic, ginger, sugar, kimchi pepper flakes, fish sauce, and carrots) and stir together.
4. Add the kimchi paste into the large bowl of cabbage leaves.
5. Mix the cabbage and kimchi paste by hand until the leaves are all coated.
6. Store the kimchi in an air tight sealed container. You can then eat it right away or wait a good (and lengthy) 2 days for the cabbage to ferment. When you first open the container 2 days later, there might be some bubbling but this is normal because it means that your cabbage has been perfectly fermented!
Mother deer and I adore our spice so we go heavy on the red pepper flakes. You can always use regular red pepper flakes but using the Korean kind (gochugaru) makes it resemble the traditional version better and in my opinion the Korean kind is a little spicier. I love my fish sauce so I like to go heavy on it whenever I make kimchi but if you’re not a fan of it, vegan or you don’t have it available you can always use water instead. Lastly, I’d like to note that you can definitely add more or less garlic, ginger, fish sauce, red pepper flakes and carrots to your liking because the important part is that the taste of it caters to your tastebuds!