Kimchi, also spelled kimchee or gimchi, is a Korean dish of pickled vegetables, usually napa cabbage Korean radish, and commonly served as a side dish. It is usually fermented in a brine of anchovy sauce, ginger, garlic, green onion and chilli pepper. There are infinite varieties, at least as many as there are households. The following is a standard recipe for baechoo kimchi (napa-cabbage kimchi), a common type that is probably what most non-Koreans think of as kimchi.
Kimchi food recipe
1 head napa cabbage (baechu, Chinese cabbage, wombok)
½ onion, thin sliced
¼ carrot, thin julienne
¼ Korean radish (muwoo), thin julienne
4 green onions (spring onions), cut into 3-cm pieces
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
½ cup go choo ga roo (Korean chili powder)
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
½ cup sea salt (or any coarse salt)
1 cup water
¼ cup jeot gal (Korean fish sauce)
Quarter the napa cabbage, wash and drain.
Mix ½ cup sea salt (or any coarse salt) and 1 cup water.
Put cabbages in a salted water and take out one at a time to get salt down.
In a container, add cabbages and pour salted water, set aside for at least 6–8 hours (overnight will be great).
The cabbage should be soft enough to bend.
Wash, drain well.
Mix together ½ cup go choo ga roo (Korean chili powder), 2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp sugar, ¼ cup jeot gal (Korean fish sauce), 2 tbsp minced garlic, and 1 tsp minced ginger.
Mix in vegetables to the chilli powder mixture.
Take one cabbage, stuff in above mixture to every layer. Try to fold in half. (must)
With 2 outer leaves, wrap the whole thing securely.
Put it in a airtight container.
Let it sit on a kitchen counter for overnight.
Put in a refrigerator for 2–3 days. (optional)
Serve with rice. (optional)
NOTE: after a few days, you will notice some liquid. this is totally normal. it is a sign that the kimchi is more ripe now.
Notes, tips, and variations
Korean radishes are large, about ½ to 1 kilogram. Japanese (daikon) radishes or a larger quantity of small European radishes could substitute.
The brine can be varied to include many other ingredients. Be creative.
¼ cup jeot gal (Korean fish sauce) can be replaced with moderate amounts of salted shrimp, raw butterfish, or raw oysters. Seafood can also be left out entirely although appropriate amount of salt needs to be added in place of missing jeot gal. Alternative flavors can include Asian pears or tangerines.
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