So the other day my FBnL (Favorite Brother in Law) was going to make kimchi, so I asked if I could help. We agreed that he would get all the accoutrements and I would chop and assist. Now he's been making Kimchi for years, but this was my first experience.
First I was amazed that only 2 big glass jars would be needed. The napa cabbage alone looked like there was no way it would fit. "There must be some other jars hiding", I thought.
I proceeded to chop the cabbage
in quarters-lengthwise, then chopped them to be about an 1 inch-2 inches in width. We placed them all in a ginormous
bowl and salted them; the salting kills unwanted bacteria. We let them sit for an hour and a half. The cabbage began to shrink as the water left the leaves and gathered at the bottom of the bowl. We tossed the leaves every half hour for a total of 3 times over the 1 1/2 hour period.
Then it was washing time. We washed cabbage with fresh water each time for 3xs total per batch.
We eventually got through all the cabbage and it was time to add the 'sauce', a lot of red pepper, and all the chopped vegetables of carrots, green onions, and Korean radish.
I then put on some foodsafe gloves and
massaged everything together in that big bowl. After mixing it all together,
I then packed jars and tamped down to ensure no air bubbles were present. After filling, the plastic lids were put on tightly. The extra was a little that didn't make it past the dinner party that was about to happen. The jars were then left out overnight, and the fermentation had already begun.
You can see the spillage and the bubbles in these pictures.
(plastic lids are recommended since they will not corrode.)
After a night the kimchi was ready to be stored in the fridge.
Here's the recipe from my FBnL:) Thanks!
Before I begin, I'd like to give credit to Maangchi,
who's book "Real Korean Cooking" was the source of this recipe, I substituted soy sauces for the fish sauces. I've been making a batch every six months for the last couple of years.
several sterilized jars
and ideally have a huge bowl on hand
10lbs of nappa cabbage (I weigh it) chopped not too small and rinsed.
1 Full cup kosher salt 1/2 cup sweet rice flour 1/4 sugar 3 cups water 1 cup soy sauce (I use lite) 2 cups korean pepper powder (or less if desired) 1 cup chopped onion 1 cup garlic cloves 2 tablespoons ginger 2 grated carrots 2 1/4 cups korean radish chopped into match sticks 10-13 scallions chopped
To make: 1) Quarter cabbage, then slice into 1.5-2 inch cubes.
Rinse, toss to dry and place in large bowl sprinkle salt all over cabbage. Leave for 1 and a half hours, turning every 20-30 mins to make sure salt is spread evenly. A lot of water will be drawn out that you can eventually discard. 2)Cooked Sauce:
While cabbage is salt soaking make the porridge.
Combine water, sugar and rice flour in sauce pan heat over med flame, whisking occasionally. Once it begins to bubble, turn down heat and whisk often to keep from burning. In about 5-10 mins the mixture will become thick, and slightly more transparent. Turn off heat and set aside to cool. 3) Cold Sauce:
Place in blender onion, garlic, ginger and soy sauce blend to smooth (set aside).
4)Chop scallions, grate carrots and match stick radish 5) after the rice porridge is cool.
Place in bowl and mix in chili pepper, carrots, radish, scallions and blender mixture.
5) When the cabbage is ready, drain the extracted water. Then in clean water rinse and drain cabbage THREE TIMES:) On the last one I run it through a salad spinner to try and get extra water out. Place back in large bowl.
6) With gloves add the pepper mixture to the cabbage and mix/massage mixture into cabbage until evenly coated.
7) Place cabbage in the containers-- pressing out air bubbles as you go. 8) leave at room temp 24-48 hours until fermentation begins,
you will begin to see bubbles when pushing down with a spoon. Then put in refrigerator to store. Note- you can begin eating kimchi right away, and you should to taste it young and undeveloped. It will change over the next 6 weeks, becoming bubbly almost carbonated and alive:)
After, this is my favorite period the kimchi is still crunchy, the flavors are matured. After about 6-7 months it will begin to loose its flavor, become wilted/lifelss. It can still be eaten, but I would recommend eating it right away and enjoying it as it changes flavor profiles...that way when it starts to go down hill, its already been eaten.