Traditional Kimchi

6 Comments

Traditional Kimchi

Ingredients:
  • 1 head Napa cabbage, weighing about 2 lbs (900 g)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) sea salt
  • Filtered water
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Sucanat or turbinado sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) fish sauce, optional
  • 1 - 5 Tablespoons (15 - 75 ml) gochugaru* (Korean red pepper flakes)
  • 8 oz (230 g) daikon, peeled and cut into small dices
  • 4 stalks scallion, trimmed and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces

1. Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2-inch (5 cm) wide strips.
2. Place the cabbage and salt in a large bowl. Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften, then add enough water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy, such as a can of beans, or a mason jar filled with water. Let stand for 1 hour.
3. Rinse the cabbage under cold water and drain in a colander for about 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, combine the garlic, ginger, sugar, and fish sauce, if using, in a small bowl and mix to form a smooth paste. Mix in the gochugaru, using 1 - 2 Tablespoons (5 - 10 ml) for mild, or up to 5 Tablespoons (25 ml) for a real kick.
5. Combine the cabbage, daikon, and scallion with the paste. Mix everything together with your hands, or use a pair of tongs.
(If you use your hands, gloves are highly recommended to protect your hands from chili stings, and smell.)
6. Pack the kimchi mixture, including the liquid that has been released, into a quart-size, wide-mouth mason jar, pressing down on it firmly with a wooden spoon or rolling pin until the vegetables are level with the shoulder and there is 1 inch (2.5 cm) of brine above the top of the vegetables.
7. Place Kraut Source onto the jar. Allow to ferment for 5 - 10 days in a cool spot, away from direct sunlight. Letting it ferment for up to 14 days is even better. Check every few days that there is water in the moat, and top off as needed (see Note).
8. Replace Kraut Source with the standard mason jar lid and ring. Transfer to the refrigerator.

Note: As Napa cabbage releases a lot of water, keep an eye on your kimchi during the first 24 - 48 hours. There should be about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of liquid above the top of the vegetables, so pour off excess if it looks like it will over flow.

*Gochugaru, or Korean red pepper flakes, is widely available in Asian grocery stores.




6 Responses

Kraut Source
Kraut Source

July 15, 2019

@Lynn in Tucson: You let the kimchi sit at room temperature while it’s fermenting. Thanks!

Kraut Source

Lynn in Tucson
Lynn in Tucson

July 15, 2019

Hi – Does this sit out at room temp while it’s curing?

Kraut Source
Kraut Source

April 18, 2019

@NORBY RUDEL: we recommend in the recipe to watch the kimchi for the first 24-48 hours after installing Kraut Source; the cabbage might release more liquid over this period. As long as you have 1 inch of brine over the top of the vegetables, it’ll be fine. If you don’t seem to have enough brine, prepare one using the ratio of 1 teaspoon sea salt to 1 cup filtered water, and pour that into the jar until you get 1 inch over the top of the vegetables.

Kraut Source

Norby Rudel
Norby Rudel

April 18, 2019

I am making kimchi for the first time today. I followed your instructions to a tee. I packed the mixture firmly into a quart container but there is very little if any brine. Am I supposed to add water to cover the mixture. I
May have let the cabbage drain too long. Help!

Kraut Source
Kraut Source

January 16, 2019

@JENNA: this recipe is for a quart-size mason jar (32 oz).

Thank you,
Kraut Source

Jenna
Jenna

January 16, 2019

Love it! What size jar will this recipe use?

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