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.
- 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
- In a big, deep bowl, dissolve the sea salt in water to make the brine.
- 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.
- 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.
- Chop the cabbage into 1-2 pieces and add them to the bowl. Mix throughly.
- 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.
- 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!
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.