Spicy and effervescent, there are many ways to make this naughty cousin to sauerkraut. I looked at a wide variety of recipes, took bits and pieces from all of them, and then kind of abandoned ship to do my own thing. Below is my basic proportion of ingredients, but I ended up making more chili paste than was needed to coat the kimchi, which is nice because I’ll save it for something else. As long as you keep things clean, soak cabbage in salt/use salt or salty substance (like fish sauce) in paste, and don’t leave it at room temp for too long, you’ll make a safe kimchi. So taste as you go and have fun with it. I can’t wait to use mine in stir-fried rice, with greens and eggs, and to attempt a kimchi pancake!
- 1 head of napa cabbage, chopped into 1-2” pieces (depends on how coarse you like your kimchi
- 2 large carrots, grated
- 1/2 cup grated daikon or radish
- 1 bunch green onion, chopped (all but very coarse dark green ends)
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped ginger, about 3” piece
- 1 small head garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoon chili powder (Korean preferred)
- 1 tablespoon cayenne
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh or about 7-11 small dried peppers/chilis, chopped (I had dried chinese peppers and used 9 of them)
- 1 tablespoons unrefined sugar
Put cabbage in large bowl and sprinkle with 1/4 cup salt. Cover with water, stir until dissolved and let sit 20 minutes. Remove and pat dry.
While cabbage is salting, blend all other ingredients but carrots, daikon, and green onion in food processor or blender until you form a paste.
Toss cabbage with carrots, daikon, green onion, and enough paste to coat (taste until of desired heat strength, recognizing that fermentation will bring out more complex flavors).
Place into large glass or ceramic vessel. Press down with (CLEAN) hands to allow juices to escape and if water does not completely cover cabbage, then use a clean stone or plastic bag filled with water to ensure it stays until water.
Seal jar/vessel and let ferment for 2-3 days, depending on weather (hotter temps will make for faster fermentation) and desired strength.
Move to refrigerator and enjoy for up to 5 weeks.