Homemade Kimch’i (김치)

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This is one of my favorite recipes and I’ve been saving to write about this on a special day like today.  But before I start, I want to thank Maangchi, my favorite cooking mentor for teaching me how to make this.

Not all people like Kimchi because of the strong sour smell.  I cannot blame them but a lot of other people (like me) love that smell anyway.  Years before, I honestly did not mind about what Kimchi is all about but when I started reading about Korean dishes, I became curious.

I first tried Kimchi at Korean restaurants as a side-dish.  It was appetizing to me because of the savory kick of spicy and sour sauce.  Then slowly, I appreciated the taste of the sauce and my palate started to want for more.

I only like the ones from the restaurant because it tastes more fresh.  I never had a store-bought Kimchi in our home and because of that, I realized I had to learn to make my own Kimchi 🙂  To me, it’s comforting to know what ingredients I have used on my recipes.  Then I am more confident serving food to my family knowing that they are eating homemade dishes by me.

I hope you enjoy learning this recipe as much as I did.  I will make a new batch this weekend 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 medium Napa Cabbages
  • 2 medium Korean Radishes (Daikon), cut into 1 inch cubes (leave some for the porridge, julienned)
  • Sea Salt
  • 1 big Onion
  • Ginger
  • 10-15 pieces of Garlic (I like to use a lot!)
  • Green Onions
  • Asian Chives
  • Hot Pepper Powder (pick a nice one that’s bright red)
  • Fish Sauce
  • Sweet Rice Powder

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Cut the cabbages in half, then slit each half through the core, but NOT through the rest of the leaves.  Soak each piece in cold water and liberally sprinkle some salt (about 3/4 cup of Sea Salt per medium cabbage), then set aside for 2 hours.

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Salt the diced radishes too and leave for 2 hours as well.  After 2 hours, turn the pieces of cabbage and radishes over so they are salted evenly. Leave for another 2 hours (Total of 4 hours of salting).

Prepare the porridge.  Put 1/2 cup sweet rice powder and 3 cups of water in a sauce pan and cook over medium high heat while stirring constantly.  Add 1/4 cup sugar then cool it down.  After 4 hours, wash the cabbages and radishes in a cold tub of water… wash 3-4 times making sure you soak it well in water to REMOVE ALL the salt.

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To the porridge, add 1 cup good quality fish sauce, 2-6 cups of hot pepper flakes (depending on your taste), 1 cup of crushed garlic, 1-3 tbsp. of minced ginger, 1 large minced onion. (I use my food processor to mince and crush the ingredients on this part)

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Mix the porridge and continue washing the cabbages and radishes.

Take a look at my photos and see how I soak the cabbages in water to make sure all the salt is removed.

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Prepare the following:

  • 7-12 diagonally sliced green onions
  • 2 cups asian chives cut into 2 inches in length
  • 2 cups of shredded korean radish (left-over from the cubes that you used before)

Combine the porridge and the ingredients above.

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Make sure the water from the cabbages drip off before starting to spread the paste on the leaves.  You will see on my slideshow how my paste looks like (it will make you salivate if you love Kimchi like me – LOL!)

Start spreading the paste on the leaves and leave some paste for your cubed radishes (Kaktugi).  Put your homemade Kimchi into an air-tight sealed container or glass jar.

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Make sure you use a clean spoon each time you get a portion of your Kimchi when you eat. Also, press down on your Kimchi after getting your serving to make sure there is no air in between your cabbages. Eat this fresh or wait until it’s bubbly and fermented.

Put the Kimchi container at room temperature for a day then keep it in the refrigerator after the first day of fermentation. In a few days, you will see some bubbles and you will start smelling the sour Kimchi. That means it’s ready being fermented.

Enjoy your Kimchi!!!!

 

Related Articles:

MAANGCHI where I learned how to make Kimchi

 


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