Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish that consists of fermented vegetables. The base of kimchi is napa cabbage and white radish, seasoned with gochugaru (powdered chili) or gochujang (chili paste), ginger, green onions and garlic. Some versions of kimchi also contain salty seafood such as dried shrimp.
Preparing kimchi is very simple. The vegetables should be chopped, salted, seasoned and set aside for a few days to ferment at room temperature. Kimchi is served as an addition to soups, pasta, meat, rice or even sandwiches. It tastes good both warm and cold.
Ingredients for kimchi.
- 900 g napa cabbage
- 4 big cloves of garlic
- 3 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons of gochujang paste
- 5 tablespoons of salt
- 4 green onion
- 400 g white radish
- 3,5 centimetre big piece of ginger
- 2 tablespoons of crystal sugar
How to make kimchi.
Cut the napa cabbage lengthwise into four parts and then into five-centimetre-long pieces. Put the chopped cabbage and salt in a big bowl then add enough water to completely cover the cabbage. Stir, then cover with a big plate and press it with something heavy. Set aside for three hours. Afterwards, pour the cabbage through a colander and let it dry for 15 minutes.
Put the cabbage, chopped radish and green onion, grated ginger, pressed garlic, sugar, soy sauce and gochujang paste into a bowl. Mix all the ingredients, and once done, transfer them into a large jar. Leave the jar at room temperature for a few days.
Good to know when making kimchi.
There are hundreds of kimchi varieties, and depending on the region, you can find different additives in it. When making kimchi, apart from cabbage and radish, you can also add carrots, which will give the kimchi a slightly sweet taste.
I used soy sauce to season the kimchi. In the classic recipe, kimchi is seasoned with fish sauce.
After putting the vegetables into a jar, you should have about four centimetres of empty space between vegetables and the lid. During fermentation, vegetables will start to rise and if there are too much of them in a jar, they will overflow. I make kimchi in a straight jar that doesn’t taper towards the top. Using a straight jar allows me to put an empty bowl on top of the vegetables to apply pressure on them. Remember not to close the jar after putting the vegetables in, the lid has to be open because the vegetables need air to ferment.
Kimchi is ready to be eaten after 24 hours. It is best to ferment them for up to four days and then put the jar in the fridge. The longer the vegetables stay in the jar, even in the refrigerator, the more intense their flavour becomes. Many people store the kimchi in the fridge for up to several months.
Do you like salads from vegetables? If so, try our recipe for Cabbage salad with vegetables.