This traditional Kimchi recipe is easy to make and it tastes authentic like your favorite Korean restaurant.
Cuisine: Asian, Korean
Author: Chrystal Johnson
Spoon or whisk
Plates or other weights
Measuring cups and spoons
½pounddaikon radishpeeled and sliced into thin matchsticks
6green onionssliced in half lengthwise, then into 1-inch pieces
Chili Paste Ingredients
3tablespoonsKorean Gochugaru Red Pepper Flakesor more or less to your taste
Quarter your Napa cabbage lengthwise, then remove the core if necessary. Slice each quarter into 2-inch strips. Place the chopped Napa cabbage leaves into big bowl.
Sprinkle salt over the Napa cabbage, then massage it until it begins to soften.
Once it starts softening, add just enough filtered water to cover the cabbage. Place something like a plate on top of the cabbage to weight it down. All of the cabbage needs to stay under the water, so make sure it’s weighted down well.
Let the Napa cabbage soak in the salt water for about 6 hours, then pour the cabbage into a fine mesh strainer and run it under cold water for a few minutes. Leave the strainer in the sink to drain for about 20 minutes so all of the excess water can drain out.
In a small bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, ¼ cup of filtered water and Gochugaru pepper. Stir until a chile paste forms. You can leave the garlic a bit chunkier like we like it, or you can make a smooth paste by running it through a food processor.
Squeeze any excess water from your cabbage place it in a large mixing bowl. Add the Daikon radish, green onions and your paste.
Carefully massage the Kimchi paste into the vegetables until everything is evenly coated. I highly recommend wearing food prep gloves as the Korean pepper can sting a bit.
Once the veggies are evenly coated with the paste, transfer the mixture into a mason jar. You really want to pack it in there, so press down on it until the vegetables are covered by brine. I usually get 2-3 pints (1-1.5 quarts). Leave about an inch of headspace (it will expand a lot as it starts to ferment) and seal your mason jar with a lid and ring.
Place your jar in a dark place on top of a towel (one you don’t mind if it gets stained) and let it sit for 2-6 days at room temperature. You’ll start to see bubbles in the mason jar and some of the brine may escape. The next day and every day after, open the jar to release the pressure and taste your kimchi. The kimchi may expand significantly when you open the jar, so you’ll want to press it back down under the brine before re-sealing your mason jar. Do this with a gloved hand, not a metal spoon (unless you know for certain it is pure stainless steel with no other metals mixed in).
Once the kimchi tastes done to you, move the jar to the refrigerator for storage. Enjoy your fresh kimchi with your favorite Korean dishes – or all on its own!