My first batch of homemade kimchi was inspired by several recipes found online, as well as guidance from Jenny Kwak’s Korean cookbook, Dok Suni, purchased at Kitchen Arts & Letters on my recent trip to New York City. I comment more on the inspiration for this recipe in my January 6, 2010 post “Fermentation Fetish.” Kimchi is most commonly made with Napa cabbage. I received a head of red cabbage in my CSA delivery this week, so chose to create this variation on the tradition.
You will brine your cut cabbage in salt water for 6 hours, prepare the seasonings, drain cabbage and mix with seasoning, then allow the kimchi to ferment for a minimum of 24 hours.
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. white vinegar
1/3 c. soy
juice of 2 lemons
1-2 TB chili paste (I used Sriracha)
2 TB fish sauce
2 fresh chilis, finely chopped
2 green onlions, cut into 1″ pieces
2 small carrots (1 med/large), thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Dissolve salt in 2 cups of water and pour over the chopped cabbage (in large bowl or crock). Mix with your hands to ensure that all the cabbage is salted. Cover the bowl and allow it to pickle for 6 hours at room temperature, returning to toss the cabbage around the 2 and 4 hour marks.
Drain cabbage in a colander while you prepare the seasonings. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, vinegar, soy, lemon juice, chili paste, and fish sauce. Add chilis, green onions, carrots and garlic. Return cabbage to large bowl. Add seasonings. Mix well.
Transfer kimchi to a one-gallon ziplock bag. Squeeze out the air. Lay flat at room temperature to ferment for 24 hours. Flip the bag occasionally to aid the fermentation process.
Store your kimchi in a jar in the refrigerator. Kimchi will keep for many weeks (some argue months and even years). It will continue to ferment, becoming more sour over time. After several months of fermentation (should it last that long!) many cooks suggest using it for soups or kimchi pancakes.
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