Kimchi

I make a half gallon of this kimchi, which is based on the basic Kimchi recipe in Fermented Vegetables, every couple of months. It’s lightly spicy – the spice can be easily increased by adding more pepper flakes. Consider adding more garlic and ginger along with the pepper as well to keep the flavor interesting.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 gallon of water
  • 1/2 cup of coarse kosher or sea salt
  • 1 good-sized napa cabbage
  • 1/2 cup of shredded daikon or other large radish
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 head of garlic, chopped fine
  • 3 scallions, sliced into lengths
  • 1/4 cup of ginger, minced

Preparation

  1. Make a salt brine by dissolving the salt in the water. If the outer leaves of the cabbage are bruised, discard them, and afterwards, cut the stem from the bottom of the cabbage, separate the leaves and place them in the brine. Add the brine and press the leaves down into it by stacking weights on top. I usually use a plate with a bowl filled with water on top.
  2. Let the cabbage sit in the brine for 6-24 hours. After this time, save 2 cups of the brine in reserve and remove the cabbage leaves. Chop them coarsely. Save several cups of the brine aside. Mix the cabbage with all the other ingredients, stirring until well-mixed.
  3. Add the mix to whatever containers you wish. I can usually fit the whole batch into a 1/2 gallon glass jar. I tamp* the vegetables down firmly and lay weights* on them before adding enough brine to completely submerge the vegetables beneath the weights. I then loosely cover the jar opening with the lid, making sure that air can still escape as they ferment for a week out of the fridge.
  4. For breaking up the kimchi into smaller batches, I use wide-mouth pint Ball jars. I place a Pickle Pebble* in each jar and use a Pickle Pipe* on top to ferment them on the counter for a week. After a week, I replace the weights and Pickle Pipes on the jars with lids and move them to the fridge.

Notes

*I backed Masontops’ first Kickstarter campaign years ago and have been using their fermenting supplies since. I can speak firsthand to how useful their pickle press, Pickle Pebbles and Pickle Pipes are.