Annyeong! Here’s your kimchi recipe! Fyi, this Kimchi recipe tastes like the one in Shogun restaurant, Sambo Kojin & any Korean buffet restaurant around you. Absolutely authentic kimchi recipe you’re looking for.
Did you know that fermented food like kimchi, can reduce anxiety, especially in those of us that are chronically, fearfully, shy. That’s according to National Geographic Magazine.
Kimchi is sometimes called a supercharged form of sauerkraut. It usually contains cabbage, red peppers onions, scallions, garlic and salt. It is a fantastic source of probiotics and many people in Korea eat it daily. Chef Judy Joo says kimchi is salty, tangy, spicy, bitter, and sweet. “You get everything you could be hankering for in one mouthful.”
And if you’re a kimchi addict this Kimchi Recipe will surely make you happy. Promise!
1 (2-pound) head chinese/napa cabbage
1/4 cup sea salt or kosher salt (see Recipe Notes)
Water (see Recipe Notes)
1 tablespoon grated garlic (about 5-6 cloves)
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
2-3 tablespoons seafood flavor or water (optional, see Recipe Notes)
1-5 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
8 ounces Korean radish or daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
Cutting board and knife
Gloves (optional but highly recommended)
Plate and something to weigh the kimchi down, like a jar or can of beans
Clean 1-quart jar with canning lid or plastic lid
Bowl or plate to place under jar during fermentation
1. Slice the cabbage. Slice the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips.
2. Put Salt on cabbage. Place the cabbage and salt in a large bowl. Using your hands (gloves optional), massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften a bit, then add water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy, like a jar or can of beans. Let stand for 1-2 hours.
3. Rinse the cabbage thoroughly and drain. Rinse the cabbage under cold water 3 times and drain in a colander for 15-20 minutes. Rinse and dry the bowl you used for salting, and set it aside to use in step 5. Make sure that there is no taste of salt in the cabbage.
4. Start preparing the paste. Meanwhile, combine the garlic, ginger, sugar, and seafood flavor (or 3 tablespoons water) in a small bowl and mix to form a smooth paste. Mix in the gochugaru, using 1 tablespoon for mild and up to 5 tablespoons for spicy (I like about 3 1/2 tablespoons).
5. Combine the vegetables and paste. Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and return it to the bowl along with the radish, scallions, and seasoning paste.
6. Using a pair of clean gloves, mix it thoroughly. Gently work the paste into the vegetables until they are thoroughly coated. The gloves are optional here but highly recommended to protect your hands from stings, stains, and smells!
7. Place the kimchi mixture into the jar. Press it down on it until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave at least 1-inch of headspace. Seal the jar with the lid.
8. Wait for a few days and let it ferment. Let the jar stand at room temperature for 1-5 days. You may see bubbles inside the jar and brine may seep out of the lid; place a bowl or plate under the jar to help catch any overflow.
9. Check it daily and refrigerate when ready. Check the kimchi once a day, pressing down on the vegetables with a clean finger or spoon to keep them submerged under the brine. (This also releases gases produced during fermentation.) Always do some taste test. Once the kimchi tastes good enough to your taste. Start placing the jars inside refrigerator. You can start eating your Kimchi, but it will taste much better after another week or two.
For added sweetness instead of sugar, you can add a large grated carrots and apples. It taste much better.
Salt: Use salt that is free of iodine and/or anti-caking agents, which can inhibit fermentation.
Water: Chlorinated water can inhibit fermentation, so use spring, distilled, or filtered water if you can.
Seafood flavor and vegetarian alternatives: Seafood gives kimchi an umami flavor. Different regions and families may use fish sauce, salted shrimp paste, oysters, and other seafood. Use about 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, salted shrimp paste, or a combination of the two. For vegetarian kimchi, I like using 3/4 teaspoon kelp powder mixed with 3 tablespoons water, or simply 3 tablespoons of water.