Notes from the Kitchen:

The kimchi recipe I use is pretty traditional. I tend to ease up on the red pepper as I prefer my kimchi moderately spicy at best. It will develop a more complex flavor over time and stores for ages in the fridge so you can always up the spice level if you feel it’s not hot enough.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 gallon water
  • 1 goodsized napa cabbage
  • 1/4 cup red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup shredded daikon or radishes
  • 1/4 cup of shredded carrots
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin lengthwise
  • 1/2 head of garlic cloves, peeled & minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

Preparation

  1. In a big, deep bowl, dissolve the sea salt in water to make the brine.
  2. Rinse the cabbage. Cut off the stalk end, cut in half and submerge in the brine. Place a plate or pot lid to press cabbage down under the brine. Let sit for 6-8 hours at room temperature.
  3. Remove the cabbage from the brine, place in a strainer, and let drain for 15-30 minutes. Save one cup of the brine liquid from the bowl and pour out the rest. Combine the remaining ingredients together in the brine bowl and mix well.
  4. Chop the cabbage into 1-2 pieces and add them to the bowl. Mix throughly.
  5. Transfer the the cabbage mix to a half gallon jar or crock. Using a tamper, potato masher, or your hands, press down firmly until well-compacted. Slowly add reserved brine until the vegetables are submerged. Cover with weights, a small plate, or a ziploc bag filled with water.
  6. Set aside to ferment for a week or two. After a week, once the cabbage begins to look semi-translucent and the brine turns orange-y, you can move it to the refrigerator. Serve with anything!

Notes

This recipe is adapted from Kristen & Christopher Shockey’s most excellent Fermented Vegetables book. I highly recommend this book as a resource for pickling in general! Loads of info for pickling newbies (with helpful pictures) and recipes to pickle almost anything.