We received two beautiful heads of napa cabbage with our crop share and what better time to attempt the art of making kimchi. My lovely friend Bridget sent me a recipe awhile ago and this is what I followed. I almost wish I would have only used one napa cabbage for this batch. My kimchi turned out but I now know what I would do to make it perfect for mine and Joshua’s tastes. This is not a hard endeavor though, so I will indulge again soon.
- 2 medium size napa cabbages
- sweet rice powder
- hot pepper powder
- fish sauce
- white onion
- fresh garlic
- green onions
- daikon radish
How to handle cabbages and radish:
- Cut the cabbages in half, and then slit each half through the core, but not through the rest of the leaves.
- Soak each piece in cold water and sprinkle some salt (about ½ cup of salt per 1 medium size cabbage), and then set it aside for 2 hours. tip: the stem should get more salt than leaf part
- 2 hours later, turn the pieces of cabbage over so they get salted evenly.
- Another 2 hours later, you will see the cabbage look softer than before, and it should have shrunk. The total salting process will take 4 hours
- Rinse the salted cabbage thoroughly with cold water 3 times.
Make porridge (paste):
- Put ½ cup of sweet rice powder (you can replace with plain flour) and 3 cups of water into a skillet and mix them up. Then cook over medium- high heat, stirring constantly.
- When you see some bubbles, pour 1/4 cup of sugar into the porridge and stir one more minute. Then cool it down.
- Place the cold porridge into a big bowl. Now you will add all your ingredients one by one.
- Add 1 cup of fish sauce, 4~6 cups of hot pepper flakes (depending on your taste), 1 cup of crushed garlic, 1 tbs of minced ginger, 1 medium size minced onion. tip: much easier to use a food processor.
- Add 7 diagonally-sliced green onions, and 2 cups of shredded Daikon radish.
- Mix all ingredients well and your Kimchi paste is done.
Are you ready to spread our paste on the leaves and make your kaktugi? I recommend you wear rubber gloves so that you won’t irritate your skin.
- Spread the Kimchi paste onto each leaf of the cabbage, and make a good shape out of the leaves by slightly pressing with both hands.
- Put it into an air- tight sealed plastic container or glass jar.
- That’s all! You can eat it fresh right after making or wait until it’s fermented. Put the Kimchi container at room temperature for 1 or 2 days and keep it in the refrigerator.
How do you know it’s fermented or not?
- One or 2 days after, open the lid of the Kimchi container. You may see some bubbles with lots of liquids, or maybe sour smells. That means it’s already being fermented.
Finished Salting, you can see how much they reduced in size.
My Indgredients. I had sucanat at home so it is what I used, but next time I will stick to plain sugar since the sucanat flavor was too strong. Also I used garlic chutney which is a delicious spice, but next time I will stick to the plain chili powder.
Kimchi Paste, the brown color comes from the fish sauce and sucanat (I used too much fish sauce)
Layering in the paste between each leaf
Ready to Ferment