Kimchi Basics

This is the start on the yellow brick road to kimchi. A very good place to begin!

Let’s deconstruct kimchi and fashion an everyday recipe as a mainstay in your kitchen. I will show you how to make a sturdy ferment and a key ingredient in a variety of quick dishes.

Traditional kimchi is made by adding chili paste directly onto each whole Chinese cabbage leaf in an all-day affair. This is my wet method that yields very tasty results in one tenth the time.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients for 2 Quarts (easily halved or doubled)

1 ½ lbs. Napa cabbage (Chinese)

½ lb. daikon radish (or mix of daikon and carrot)

3 large scallions

2 TBS. fresh garlic, minced

2 TBS. fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 ½ – 3 TBS (to taste) Korean chili flakes*

*Purchase Korean chile flakes (gochugaru) at Asian market

Brine: 4 cups filtered water + 2 Tbsp. sea salt

ADDITION: After fermentation is complete, add 1 tsp. of sweetener: honey, agave nectar or sugar and 1 tsp of fish sauce.

Directions for canning jar kits, like the Perfect Pickler®. Review your own fermentor directions to complete.

  1. Halve cabbage length-wise, remove root section, cut into one inch squares (see below).Kimchi Prep
  2. Peel and julienne daikon (and carrot if using)
  3. Trim and cut scallions into thin, slanted slices
  4. Place veggies, garlic, ginger, chile flakes in a large bowl; toss well to combine.
  5. Pack a 2 quart jar with the mixed veggies, packing firmly along the way up to 2-inches from the jar lip.
  6. Make brine by dissolving salt in water
  7. Pour brine over vegetables; gently wiggle jar to release air bubbles. Continue filling until just below the lip of the jar.
  8. Kimchi PrepClean off any veggie or seasoning debris from jar rim to ensure good seal.
  9. Press brine overflow cup into jar and seal with Perfect Pickler® lid. (HINT: you may want to do this with jar in your sink as some brine should spill over).
  10. Pour tap water into airlock to the max line and gently twist into lid.
  11. Place in cool location (between 74-66 degrees ) and wait for 4 days

When fermentation is complete, adjust for more spiciness if desired by adding chili flakes

PLANNED-OVER DISH

Kimchi Fried RiceA classic 15-minute comfort dish – Kimchi Fried Rice with Fried Egg and Sesame Seeds

Kimchi Bokkeumbapb (Fried Rice and Kimchi) – Featured above, this is the bomb! Stir fry some planned-over rice in oil in a skillet. Add in minced kimchi to taste. Fry an egg per diner and serve on top with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.

Kimchi MayoKimchi Mayo

Purée kimchi with mayonnaise for an instant creamy-spicy dip or spread

 

copyright 2017, Bill Hettig, billhettig@mac.com

 

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