Annyeonghaseyo! (안녕하세요) 안녕하세요) That means “hello” in Korean. Yeah, I know I’ve been hit with the Korean fever, but hey, you should admit that Korean food is really good, right? Remember I made some tteokbokki, which is a delicious Korean street food? Now, I have also started making kimchi instead of buying at the store. The process is a bit tedious because it takes time and effort but totally worth it. I can also customize the kimchi according to my liking — if I want it sweeter, with more garlic, etc.
What’s so Great About this Korean Food?
Since I love spicy food, I am automatically attracted to Korean food due to its spiciness. I also noticed that the spiciness of the ingredients don’t leave a burning taste. The Korean pepper flakes that I bought also smelled a bit sweet and musky. I decided to make my own kimchi so I can store it and it’s ready to eat anytime! I even gave some to my sister and my friends — maybe I should sell them, too, don’t you think?
Anyway, I research different ways of preparing kimchi. Another thing that I noticed about Korean food, specifically kimchi, is how they prepare it. It’s a long process, with the salting and washing of the vegetables, and one wrong step will ruin it. The traditional way of making kimchi is different from the newer methods. For example, the traditional way of making kimchi requires whole napa cabbage leaves instead of chopping them into bite size pieces. Also, they have this special Korean earthenware called the “onggi” to store the kimchi. I also saw a video where they dry the washed napa cabbage leaves in bamboo slats. Not sure if that adds flavor but it looks cool.
Let’s Make Homemade Kimchi!
Let’s get started! Make sure you have lots of rock salt, a large basin, and a large coriander. You can even use the cooling racks to dry the washed napa cabbage with. Make sure your hands are clean and dry, too. Have some plastic gloves ready to mix the kimchi with, because the red paste may sting and make your hands red.
Please share this recipe with your Korean fanatic friends, too! Don’t forget to leave us a comment and share your kimchi-making experience!
Easy Homemade Kimchi
- 1 large Napa cabbage
- 1 cup rock salt not iodized
- 1 large carrot julienned
- 1 radish cut into cubes
For the Kimchi Paste:
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1 tbsp onion chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 5 tbsp Korean red pepper flakes
- 1-2 tsp sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp Glutinous rice flour
- Cut off the hard part of the Napa cabbage.
- Separate the leaves and cut them into 1 inch slices.
- In a large baking pan, put the cut-up leaves and sprinkle generously with salt, making sure to coat all leaves. Toss the leaves with your hands to evenly distribute the salt. Leave it for 30 minutes to allow the moisture to come out, tossing every 10 minutes to distribute the salt.
- To check if the Napa cabbage is ready, get the hard white part and pinch it between your fingers. If it seems soft and does not break right away, then it is ready.
- While waiting for the Napa cabbage, mix the water with the glutinous flour. Mix it for 5 minutes until it turns into a paste. Turn off heat and set aside to cool.
- Once the paste cools, proceed to making the kimchi paste. Mix the red pepper flakes, sugar, and fish sauce along with the flour mixture. Mix well to combine then add the carrots and radish. Set aside.
- Wash the salted Napa cabbage 3-4 times to remove the saltiness. On the last rinse, squeeze out the excess water. Let them dry on a cooling rack placed on top of a baking pan for about 30 minutes.
- When the Napa cabbage is a bit dry, mix it with the paste. Use plastic gloves to cover your hands and mix well, making sure to coat every piece with the paste.
- Prepare clean jars with covers. Carefully spoon the kimchi into each jar. Make sure to press down on the kimchi as you spoon them to remove air bubbles. Leave about half an inch of space from the lid. Press firmly on top of the bottle to release air bubbles then cover. You may need to check back after and hour and press down to remove any air bubbles that may have formed.
- Store in room temperature for a day then refrigerate after. It will continue to ferment in the fridge. If the weather is hot, keep it at room temperature for half a day only then refrigerate afterwards. When the kimchi turns a bit sour, it means it has fermented.