Homemade Kimchi

The Hubby and I love kimchi and after having some excellent homemade kimchi at a local Korean restaurant, I wanted to try my hand at making it.

I dug up a recipe from Feasting at Home and gave it a try. It was so easy and with a little bit of patience while you wait for it to ferment (it really doesn’t take that long) and you can have your own kimchi too! I did find that the kimchi wasn’t spicy enough, so I’m going to work on the recipe as I add/modify ingredients.

I found the recipe at Feasting at Home had a couple of good tips:

  • The ideal temperature for fermenting kimchi 55-65 degrees.  65 F is perfect!
  • The cooler it is, the slower it will take to ferment. The warmer, the faster.

As mentioned before, it wasn’t quite as spicy as I liked, but I only had the gojuchang paste on hand. I am going to pick up some of the gochugaru chili flakes and combine both. I’ll modify the recipe if I find it works out better!

I picked up a fermentation kit for cheap as it had the weighted pucks, airlocks, and tamper.

Homemade Kimchi
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Kimchi

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds napa cabbage cored and cut into 1-inch pieces (one large cabbage)
  • ¼ cup sea salt*
  • 2 cups daikon radish cut into matchstick strips
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger roughly chopped( 2-3 disks, peels ok)
  • 1 small head of garlic whole
  • 1 shallot quartered
  • 6 tablespoons gojuchang paste
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Instructions

  • Remove the outer leaves.
  • Cut the remaining cabbage into 1 inch pieces and place in a large bowl, layered with the salt and toss.
  • Add enough cool water to cover the cabbage and stir until salt is dissolved.
  • Keep the cabbage submerged with a plate over the bowl and a weight to hold it down and let stand at room temperature 6-8 hours (giving a stir midway through if possible) or overnight.
  • Reserving the brine, drain the cabbage.
  • Squeeze out excess water and place in a large bowl.
  • Add the sliced daikon.
  • Place the remaining ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a paste is formed.
  • PUT ON SOME GLOVES and then massage and mix the paste with the cabbage.
  • Scoop into 1L clean pickle jars. Packing down tightly.
  • Top with a pickling puck.
  • Slowly top off the kimchi with the reserved brine until just covered.
  • Place a silicone airlock and loosely top with a canning ring.
  • Let sit for 2 - 3 days somewhere dark and warm, placing the jars in a small pan to catch any of the overflowing juices. Squeeze the vent every couple days to release pressure.
  • Check for desired tangyness and if not quite tangy enough, let sit for another 2-3 days.
  • Remove the puck and airlock, top with a lid and put in the fridge, where it will keep for months!

Notes

* I found that it wasn't quite salty enough, so will play with adding salt to the paste next time. Maybe 2 teaspoons or so.
More great tips from Feasting at Home:
  • After 3 days. Tap the jar to see if any bubbles rise to the top- indicating that it is fermenting.
  • Taste the kimchi for tanginess.
  • Continue to ferment for  2-3 more days if you want it tangier or softer, then place in the fridge.
  • Once you have it in the fridge, taste again. It will continue to ferment but at a much slower rate.  It will develop more flavor and complexity over the next two weeks in the fridge, and the spice level will mellow with time!
If you like this recipe, please share!
KIMCHI

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