Napa Cabbage Kimchi (Baechu-kimchi)

kimchiWho knew making kimchi was so easy?  After making a couple batches on our own, I doubt we’ll be buying kimchi in Minneapolis anytime soon.  Make sure to start the recipe earlyin the day to allow for salting time. As far as the Korean ingredients- Korean red pepper powder or gochugaru (kochukaru) is what gives kimchi its spiciness. It can be found in Asian markets in large resealable plastic bags, in different grades of coarseness and spiciness.  Also known as saeujeot, Korean salted shrimp are very small, naturally fermented shrimp that impart authentic flavor to kimchi. They are sold in jars and can be found in the refrigerated section of Asian grocery stores.

Napa Cabbage Kimchi (Baechu-kimchi)
Total Time: 3 days

• 2 heads napa cabbage (4.8kg)
• heaping 2 cups (350g) coarse salt
• 100g watercress, cut into 2 inch pieces
• 400g green onion, cut into 2 inch pieces
• 1 daikon radish (1kg), grated
• 1 1/3 cups (130g) Korean ground red pepper (kochukaru)
• 1/2 cup (100g) salted anchovy juice (fish sauce)
• 100g baby salted shrimps (saeujeot), minced
• 1 tablespoon (12g) sugar
• 5 tablespoons (80g) minced garlic
• 3 tablespoons (36g) minced ginger
• 1/2 cup (100g) water

Trim the bottom and outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise. Thoroughly distribute a heaping 2 cups of salt between all of the cabbage leaves. Let halves sit cut side up for 3 hours, and then flip and let sit for another 3 hours. Rinse the cabbage under running water 3 times and drain the cabbage for 1 hour.  This draining process is important and ensures that your kimchi sauce isn’t too runny.
drying Kimchi

Meanwhile, combine the grated radish, ground red pepper, fish sauce, salted shrimps, sugar, garlic and ginger in a medium bowl. Pack the mixture in between the cabbage leaves and fold over the outer leaves to hold the cabbage together. Fill jars or a medium sized container with the kimchi so that the container is 80% full. Cover with water and press the cabbage down to release any air bubbles. Let sit in a cool, dark place for 24 hours (the mixture may bubble) to begin the fermentation process. After 24 hours, open the jar to let the gases escape, then reseal and refrigerate at least 24 hours before eating (kimchi is best after fermenting about 1 week). Refrigerate for up to 1 month.



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