Thursday, May 14, 2009

Making Kimchi

My kimchi recipe of choice is adapted from a recipe on Epicurious, which is in turn adapted from a recipe in the book Dok Suni: Recipes From My Mother's Korean Kitchen.

  • 3/4 cup coarse sea salt (or kosher salt)
  • 2 cups chlorine-free water
  • 4 lbs of vegetables: mostly Napa cabbage, plus any combination of mustard greens, bok choy, daikon, burdock root, and whatever other vegetables catch your fancy
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 or 3 good-sized onions
  • some more chlorine-free water
  • 1 inch ginger root, peeled (a spoon works well for peeling ginger)
  • 1 cup red pepper powder, available at Korean and other Asian grocery stores
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 small bunch scallions
  1. In a big bowl, dissolve 3/4 cup salt in 2 cups of water to make a brine.
  2. Cut up all of the 4 lbs of vegetables. Cut leafy vegetables into 1" square pieces. Peel root vegetables and cut them into thin diagonal slices. Slice and include as much of the cabbage core as you like.
  3. Put the chopped vegetables into the brine and mix. Hands are an excellent tool for this. Leave the vegetables in the brine for 4-6 hours. Cover it to keep it free of foreign objects. Uncover it and stir it up every once in a while.
  4. Drain the vegetables pretty thoroughly in a colander.
  5. Peel the onions and garlic, and mince the ginger.
  6. Blend the onion, garlic, and ginger in a food processor with as much water as is necessary to form a smooth paste.
  7. Mix the red pepper flakes and sugar into the paste.
  8. Cut the scallions diagonally into 1" lengths, and add them to the paste. Then let the paste sit for 10 minutes.
  9. Move the chopped vegetables from the colander into a large bowl. Add the seasoning paste. Mix it up well with a wooden spoon, your hands, or whatever falls readily to hand.
  10. Pack your kimchi tightly into Mason jars. Close the jars loosely. Leave the jars on the counter at room temperature for as long as you dare, but at least 1 day. Open them every day or two to check their progress. (Or, optionally, seal the jars in plastic bags and bury them in your back yard.)
  11. Taste your kimchi periodically. When you think it's "done", close the jars more tightly and put them in the fridge. (Or bury them in the ground, or keep them in a cool root cellar.)
Kimchi Recipe Concepts
  • New England Kimchi Canap├ęs (bite-sized cracker, cheddar cheese, apple, kimchi)
  • Kimchi Reuben Sandwich (rye bread, corned beef of known origin, kimchi, mayo, optional wasabi)
  • Baked Potato with Sour Cream and Kimchi
  • Kimchi Scramble (scrambled eggs, kimchi, sprouted grain toast with grass-fed butter)
  • Kimchi Stir-Fry (animal or tofu, animal fat or coconut oil, kimchi, other vegetables if desired)
  • Kimchi Fried Rice (similar to stir-fry, but with brown rice and scrambled egg)
  • Kimchi Buckwheat Pancakes (savory pancake recipe + kimchi)
  • Kimchi Nachos

1 comment:

Food Safety Course said...

I like spicy foods. Maybe that's why I fancy Korean Cuisine. I haven't tried any Kimchi recipe before because it takes time to make it according to recipe blogs out there. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I'll definitely make one for our Korean Night.