Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish that has been eaten for centuries. The word itself means “fermented vegetables” and it is made by fermenting vegetables with salt, water, and spices. This recipe includes ingredients like cabbage, radish, garlic, ginger, green onion, red pepper flakes, fish sauce, sugar, sesame oil and more.
Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish that has been around for over 2,000 years. It is made with vegetables and spices, including garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, fish sauce, sugar, salt and water. The filipino style of kimchi uses tomatoes instead of cabbage.
Homemade kimchi is inexpensive to create and simple to prepare. Check out this beginner’s guide on making kimchi if you’re not sure where to begin. We’ll teach you how to create the finest Korean pickles using common household items and no specialized equipment.
Recipe for Basic Kimchi
To create a delicious batch of spicy, tangy kimchi, follow these simple step-by-step directions. Despite the fact that fermentation takes at least two weeks, we promise you that the wait is well worth it.
Equipment to bring:
- a big bowl
- chopping board and knife
- Gloves made of latex
- the amount of weight (such as pie weights)
- 12 quart jars, 2 (or a one-quart jar)
- Plate for putting the jars on during the fermenting process
- a quarter cup of coarse sea salt
- 1 napa cabbage, big
- 12 cup daikon radish, matchstick-style
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
- 7 cloves of garlic
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 tbsp sriracha
- Gochujang paste, 5 tbsp
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
Preparation of the cabbage is the first step. Remove two outside leaves and wrap them in plastic before storing them in the refrigerator for later use.
The methods for preparing a napa cabbage for kimchee manufacturing.
Remove the stalk from the remaining cabbage and cut it into one-inch pieces on a chopping board. Rinse the leaves in a big basin with water to make sure they’re completely moist. Toss with salt and toss again until it’s uniformly distributed.
Fill the bowl with water until the cabbage leaves are completely immersed, then cover with a plate to keep everything submerged. Allow the cabbage to sit for 3 hours, then stir and let it sit for another 3 hours, or overnight.
Ensure that the napa cabbage is fully submerged.
Drain the brine into a separate container and put it away for later use. After a short washing, drain the cabbage in a strainer. Dry the cabbage by laying it out on paper towels. Return to the bowl and stir in the carrots and daikon radish.
Related reading: What to do with kimchi liquid that’s been left over.
Step 2: Put the paste in. In a food processor, combine the garlic, ginger, fish sauce, gochujang paste, and sugar. Pulse the ingredients until they create a thick paste.
Sauce that has been freshly prepared and is ready to be mixed with the veggies.
Put on some gloves before scooping up the paste and slathering it all over the veggies. Massage it in with your hands until it’s completely covered.
Putting on gloves before making kimchi is worth the effort.
Step 3: Disturbing Fill clean jars halfway with cabbage mixture, leaving two inches at the top. Pour some of the remaining kimchi juice into the mixture and push it down until the veggies are completely coated with liquid.
Use the cabbage leaf from the fridge as a cover by folding it up. After that, place a fermentation weight on top, such as a zip-lock bag full with pie weights. It’s critical to keep all of the solids submerged; otherwise, mold may grow and ruin the kimchi.
The kimchi is now ready to ferment.
Step 4: Fermentation in the open air Place the jars on a big dish or baking sheet to catch any liquid that escapes. Cover each jar with a lid, but leave a tiny space to enable air to escape. The lids should not be sealed.
Keep the kimchi for three days in a cold, dark location away from the oven or other hot appliances, such as a basement or closet. The ideal temperature for fermenting kimchi is 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit (12-18 degrees Celsius).
Step 5: Fermentation in the refrigerator Check the jar for any signs of air bubbles after 3 days of fermentation. You may have to tap the jar to view them.
Can’t seem to find any bubbles? Return the next day and double-check. Keep checking every day, bearing in mind that fermentation takes longer in colder regions.
Is it possible to observe bubbles? Refrigerate the jars and continue to ferment for another 10-12 days. This will enable the tastes to mature and become more nuanced. The tangier the kimchi becomes after it has fermented for a while.
You may either leave the lid open to enable the gas to escape or tighten it for a more fizzy result. Each week, remember to open the top to let the gas out.
Enjoy your kimchi now that it’s ready to eat!
Notes about the recipe
The cabbage: For the sake of this kimchi recipe, one big napa cabbage weighs about 2 pounds. Two smaller ones may be used.
Korean coarse salt (cheonilyeom) is the finest salt for producing kimchi because of its great texture and little processing. If you can’t locate it, any sea salt will suffice. Table salt should be avoided.
Gochujang is a spicy condiment that may be purchased in Asian aisles of well-stocked supermarkets or online. Here’s a link to an article on gochujang alternatives. 4 tablespoons gochugaru, often known as Korean chili powder, is a suitable substitute for this recipe. Depending on how spicy you prefer your meal, you may adjust the amount of gochujang or gochugaru.
Timing: If you want a tangier kimchi with a softer texture, extend the fermenting time to 3-4 days at room temperature.
Cook one tablespoon glutenous rice powder with a half cup of water in a small saucepan until boiling for kimchi with a thick consistency. When the remaining ingredients are processed, mix in the cooled chili paste.
Gochujang, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, and ginger are all used in this dish.
Temperatures at which kimchi should be fermented
- Fermentation temperatures should be kept between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit (12 and 18 degrees Celsius).
- The optimum temperature for best outcomes is 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Fermentation is accelerated when the temperature is warm. Cooler temperatures make things move more slowly.
- You may notice that the final taste isn’t as nice at temps over 70°F.
What is the difference between ssamjang and gochujang? Related reading: What is the difference between ssamjang and gochujang?
Identifying and resolving kimchi issues
My kimchi hasn’t started to bubble! Check the temperature of the kimchi using a thermometer. A temperature outside of 50-70°F is not favorable to food fermentation.
My kimchi is much too gooey! Too much fresh ginger may result in kimchi with a sticky texture. Don’t go overboard with this spice.
Mold has grown on my kimchi! Mold will only grow if your kimchi isn’t kept in the refrigerator. If the top cabbage leaf has mold, remove it and clean the jar rim before replacing it.
My kimchi is much too sour! If you use too much garlic, your kimchi will be harsh, so don’t go crazy with it.
What exactly is kimchi?
Kimchi is a classic Korean side dish and condiment prepared from fermented vegetables such as Korean radish or napa cabbage. It’s similar to sauerkraut, but with a kick from gochujang paste.
Outside of Korea, people are learning why kimchi is so popular. It’s not only tasty, but it’s also high in probiotics, which have a variety of health advantages. If you’ve been to your local grocery store’s refrigerated department, you may have seen an increasing selection of kimchi items. They’re practical, but they’re not inexpensive.
How do you keep kimchi fresh?
Kimchi should be kept refrigerated in its original container with the top tightly fastened. If you use a clean spoon every time you use it, it will last for 2-3 months. To prevent mold development, it’s also essential to keep the veggies pressed down below the liquid.
Variations in ingredients
The only limit of kimchi is the home chef’s creativity. Napa cabbage, white radish, gegeol radish, pigtail radish, yeolmu radish, daikon radish, cucumber, and mustard leaf are also common kimchi components.
Replace the fish sauce with soy sauce, miso paste, liquid aminos, or a vegan-friendly fish sauce if you want to create vegan kimchi.
7 weights for fermentation ideas
Here’s a list of easy methods to keep the veggies below the waterline by weighing them down. You may use a silicone cupcake liner to hold several tiny objects, such as pie weights.
- Weights of fermentation
- Weights of pies
- Stones made of whisky
- fermenting weights made of glass
- a little jar or glass
- the plate (if fermenting in a pot)
- a brine-filled zip-lock bag
Serving suggestions for kimchi
At dinner time, authentic Korean chefs often offer kimchi as a side dish. It’s often used in bibimbap, as well as pancakes, dumplings, fried rice, burritos, soups, stews, and noodles (guksu).
Kimchi is a meal that may be used in a variety of ways.
Kimchi’s nutritional value
Kimchi is considered a highly nutritious food by dieticians because it includes beneficial bacteria (probiotics) that aid intestinal health. It’s also high in iron, calcium, and phosphorus, as well as vitamins A, B, C, and K.
Questions that are often asked
Why do I need to dampen the chopped cabbage before salting it?
Water encourages the liquid to be released from the leaves by speeding up the osmosis process.
What can I do if the top layer of my kimchi gets a white coating?
This is toxic mold that should not be eaten. It may be scraped off and thrown away, but the remainder should be edible.
Is it okay to use fish in kimchi fermentation?
Squid, mussels, and oysters are excellent candidates for fermentation. It’s known as jeotgal in Korea, and it gives kimchi a new depth of taste. Fresh fish that hasn’t been sitting in the fridge for days should always be used.
What is the flavor of kimchi?
Kimchi is a flavorful pickled dish that combines salty, sour, and spicy flavors in one bite. It has a somewhat crunchy texture similar to sauerkraut, but it’s hotter and has a stronger umami taste.
Is it possible to purchase kimchi at the store?
Buying store-bought kimchi is fine in terms of flavor. Healthy gut bacteria are present in refrigerated goods offered at grocery shops, providing health advantages. Preservatives like nitrates are often found in commercial goods.
Is an airlock required for kimchi?
Although an airlock is not required for producing kimchi, it facilitates fermentation and typically results in a better-tasting product.
Is it necessary for me to salt the cabbage?
In the fermentation process, salt is essential. It aids in the breakdown of the cabbage leaf walls and the release of brine.
Before fermenting, it’s essential to salt the cabbage.
Related recipes: If you like doing your own cooking, you may be interested in our comprehensive instructions to producing cheddar cheese and ice cream. They provide even more simple methods to save money by growing your own food.
To sum it up
Kimchi is a versatile cuisine that provides a salty, tangy flavor to a variety of foods. Even if you’ve never cooked Korean food before, you can whip up a batch at home in minutes. Waiting for the veggies to ferment is the most difficult part!
Because everyone’s preferences vary, feel free to play with with the ingredient quantities in the recipe we’ve given. Reduce the gochujang if you don’t want your meal to be overly spicy. Include some apple, Asian pear, or normal pear if you want a little sweetness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why kimchi is bad for you?
Is it OK to eat kimchi everyday?
It is not recommended to eat kimchi everyday.
How long should kimchi be salted?
This is a very subjective question. I recommend salting kimchi for at least 3 hours, but the longer it sits the better flavor it will have.
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