Updated: Dec 27, 2020
It may be hard to get some of the kimchi ingredients during pandemics. Don't worry this recipe uses easy to obtain ingredients and still produces fantastic, fermented spicy cabbage.
1 Napa Cabbage (keep 1 biggest leaf to cover the top)
1 medium carrot cut to matchsticks
6 scallions sliced diagonally
40g (1.4oz) fresh ginger peeled and grated
1 head of garlic, peeled and grated
2 green chillies sliced with seeds, stem removed
350ml (0.37quarts) water plus 50ml (3,5tbsp)
2tbsp of corn starch (or potato starch)
20g (0.7oz) + 15g (0.53oz) salt
20g (0.7oz) mild chilli powder
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce (or Worcestershire sauce)
1,5L (1.6quarts) jar or bigger
1. Cut your cabbage in half and slice diagonally, place in the bowl, then mix in 20g (0.7oz) of salt and leave on the counter for 4 hours.
2. In the meantime cut other vegetables and prepare the pickling solution. To do so heat 350ml (0.37quarts) of water in a small pan until it starts to boil then reduce the heat. In a small bowl mix cornstarch with 50ml (3.5tbsp) of cold water and pour into the pan whisking until the water thickens. Now add the garlic, ginger, chilli powder, salt, soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar. Mix together and leave on the side ready for later.
3. When the cabbage is ready, wash it with water to remove the salt, then drain excess water and place back in the bowl. Mix with other vegetables and pickling solution (make sure you use gloves or wash your hands before doing so).
4. Place everything in a jar big enough (1,5L (1.6quarts) and above) and cover the top of the mixture with a cabbage leaf or clingfilm. Close the jar and leave in the room temperature away from direct sunlight for 3-5 days (shorter fermentation results in the product more crunchy in texture and less acidic, longer fermentation makes everything super soft and more acidic, personally I go for 4 days). Open daily to allow CO2 to escape.
5. After that time your kimchi is ready, store it in the fridge for up to 6 months. With the time flavour develops further!
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During the fermentation process, some white yeast called "kahm" may form on the top and the bottom of the mixture, they are harmless so don't worry.
Make sure all the equipment is cleaned beforehand to avoid contamination with unwanted bacteria and fungi.
Lactic acid bacteria consume carbohydrates and produce lactic acid that gives kimchi its sourness and carbon dioxide that makes it slightly fizzy.
This kimchi goes super well with Creamy Chicken Katsu Curry!