I’ve been meaning to make my own Kimchi for a while, and finally got around to it since reading that it would help me lose weight – haha! I’ve embarked on a mission since reading the 4Hour Body and to help me stick to it (I also started another Blog to track my progress), I had to incorporate my love for food – cooking new and yummy food – simple eh?
Anyway, here is the recipe I got from searching the internet – thanks to the Kitchen Wench – with my own photo inserts and mods.
1 fresh Chinese cabbage, dark green outer leaves removed
1 1/2 cup cooking salt
1 heaped tbsp glutinous rice starch (sticky rice powder, not regular rice powder)
1 cup Korean chilli powder – aka gochugaru (not flakes, look for it at your local Korean grocery store)
1/2 cup fish sauce (or Anchovy Sauce)
2 tbsp white sugar
6 spring onions, washed and sliced on an angle into slices about 1-2″ long
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 knob of ginger, grated
1/4 nashi pear, cored and peeled
1/4 brown onion, peeled
200g white/chinese radish (long and white as opposed to small, round and pink-tinged)
1. Cut the cabbage in halves or quarters, and cut into the stem to remove most of it.
2. Combine 1L water with 1/2 cup of cooking salt into a large bowl, then plunge one half or quarter of cabbage into the water at a time. Carefully seperate the leaves layer by layer and make sure that you get the salted water right to the base of the leaves.
3. Drain water from the cabbage segments, then sprinkle a light layer of cooking salt over each layer of leaves, making sure to get more towards the thick, white base of the leaf rather than the thinner, green end. This is usually done by coating the lower half of your fingers in salt and using a flicking motion. Don’t feel that you have to use the ENTIRE 1 cup of salt here – just as much as is needed to give the leaves a light sprinkling – its hard to judge how much salt you will need/use as it depends on how big and how ‘ripe’ your cabbage is.
4. Place the cabbage segments into a bowl and leave covered for 5-6 hours, or till cabbage is floppy enough so that the leaves can be bent over, but still make a crisp ‘snapping’ noise when snapped. (I actually left this overnight as life got in the way and I didn’t get to do it all in one day – will let you know if this makes a difference)
Salted Cabbage Segments
5. After leaving for 5-6 hours, rinse the lettuce twice in clean water, then squeeze as much water out of the lettuce as humanly possible (yes, squishing the cabbage is perfectly alright), and leave on a strainer for another 15-30 mins to drain the last of the water out
6. The ‘sauce’ can be made whilst you’re waiting for the cabbage to wilt (in step 4). Combine 1 heaped tbsp of glutinous rice powder with 1/2 cup water in a pot, stir vigorously over a low heat till the mixture has turned white, has a very thick consistancy and bubbles whilst being stirred. (This way annoyed me, as it thickens pretty fast, and is lumpy! So what I did was mix the glutinous rice powder with a few tbsp of cold water until well mixed, then add 1/2 cup of HOT water and stir, this will thicken so stir well to get rid of the lumps)
Glutinous Rice Starch Paste/Glue
7. Let the rice powder glue cool down, and while it’s cooling, blend together the garlic, ginger, nashi pear, onion and Chinese radish into a pulpy liquid.
Blended Onions, Garlic, Ginger, Pear & Radish
8. Once the rice powder glue is completely cool, stir in the chilli powder, sugar and fish sauce, then pear mix and spring onion.
8. Lay out the cabbage and coat the front and back of every leaf with this rice chilli paste, making sure that they’re well coated and you haven’t missed any bits. (I put on gloves, so I could use my hands!)
9. Once all the cabbage has been coated, press down into an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place for 3 days to aid the fermentation process. Taste it after 3 days, and if the lettuce tastes slightly tangy, soft but with some crunch and spicy, then place in your fridge. This can be stored in your fridge for up to 3 months (if it lasts that long!) (You can also put the Kimchi in to the fridge immediately so that the fermentation process slows down – What I did was leave it out for a few hours, then put it in the fridge)
I also had some some radish left over, and not to mention the fact that I love radish, so I also made a Radish version – same paste 🙂
Only thing now, is the wait… I might try to have some tonight – Will let you know how it goes!!
It’s my turn to cook for Karl & Chanel, and I suggested Korean, so will definitely be serving this – look out for that post on what I end up cooking!