How can one not do kimchi for Korea month? Kimchi is like the heart and soul of Korean cuisines and although it’s mainly served as a side dish, kimchi is very versatile and can be converted to many other dishes. Households in Korea even have special fridges just to keep their kimchi because when there is no time to cook or nothing else available to eat at hand, they break out the kimchi and poof! You have kimchi ramen, kimchi jjigae, jeon or kimchi guk.
But honestly, I actually contemplated in my head whether or not I want to do a kimchi recipe because I’m sure there will dozens out there who have already done a kimchi recipe or will do a kimchi recipe, but I wanted to do loads of other dishes that would require the use of kimchi…..why not just make my own….
The first time I made this, I think I put too much chili flakes hence it looked very dark, but the second time I reduced it and it’s just right. This sort of recipe is really a ‘practise makes perfect’ kind, you can have a recipe but you’ll have to adjust it everytime till it suit’s your preference to the T.
RECIPE FOR KIMCHI
600 gms napa cabbage (but this recipe can
easily cater for 1 kg)
1 carrot, cut to strips
Spring onions (just the green part), cut to 2 inch strips
Chinese chives, cut to 2 inch strips
30 gms of dried shrimps
1 Asian/ Korean pear
4 cloves of garlic
1 thumb size piece of ginger
3 tablespoons fish sauce
Spring onions (the white part)
1/2 cup glutinous rice flour
1/2 cup water
1 heaping cup Korean red chilli pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sugar
1. First you have to salt the cabbage to draw out all the access moisture. Cut the cabbage into half. If your cabbage is bigger, you might have to quarter it. But the idea is to leave the hard connecting root at the bottom.
2. Peel away the layers carefully and just scatter salt into them.
3. Leave it to sit in a colander propped over a bowl for about 2 hours. Before rubbing the paste onto the cabbage i gave it a quick rinse because I don’t like too much salt. I let the cabbage sit in the colander all the while to drip off the water.
4. In the meantime, prepare your mixes. In a blender, add all of ingredients for Mix A. I toasted the dried shrimps a little and blended it in the processor first to get it more fine before adding all the other stuff.
5. Blend everything till you have a wet mix.
6. In a saucepan, pour in the glutinous rice flour and water together. On a slow heat keep stirring till you have a gummy paste lump free.
7. Mix the glutinous rice paste with the chili flakes and sugar.
8. Now all you have to do is A and B together with the chives, spring onions and carrots.
9. Once you have that together, put on gloves and prepare to rub the paste into the cabbage layers.
10. Ferment in jars or containers. Let it sit in room temp for 24 hours and in the fridge for the rest of the usage period.
I have a lot of the ferementing paste leftover, like I said, this could easily cater to a cabbage that is 1kg big. But I wanted to make daikon kimchi as well as cucumber kimchi, hence I used a smaller one. If you want to go all cabbage kimchi, just pick out a bigger one.