This recipe was adapted from:
NOTE: The fermentation will take a few days and needs frequent burping.
Don't make this if you're about to go on vacation or something.
To start off with, you're going to need:
- 1 32oz mason jar
- 2 large mixing bowls
- 1/2 head of napa cabbage
- Coarse sea salt
You'll want about a 16.7 ratio of cabbage to sea salt by weight, so if you have
500 grams of napa cabbage, you'll need about 30 grams of sea salt.
You can find napa cabbage and gochugaru in more than just Asian grocery stores,
but I really recommend buying from Asian markets since they'll be the cheapest.
For example, Koreana Market in Oakland, CA sells a whole head of napa cabbage
for $1 and a 1 pound (!) bag of gochugaru for $7.
|150g (2/3 cup)||Water|
|10g (1 Tbsp)||Rice flour - gluten free flour works well too, regular flour can be used in a pinch|
|6g (1/2 Tbsp)||Sugar|
|33g (1/3 cup)||Gochugaru - Korean chili flakes|
|20g (1 Tbsp)||Fish sauce|
|20g (1 Tbsp)||Minced garlic|
|30g (1/8 cup)||Diced onion|
|1 (20g)||Green onion|
|3g (1/2 tsp)||Grated ginger|
For this, you'll need two large mixing bowls
- Pull off any junky outer leaves from the cabbage
- Cut cabbage lengthwise into quarters
- Remove the cores from the bottom of the cabbage
- Chop into bite-sized pieces, about 1" sqare
- Wash cabbage with cold water, drain, place into large bowl
- Add salt - 16.7 cabbage:salt ratio by weight. For example 500g of cabbage
needs ~30g salt. This salt will help draw out moisture from the cabbage.
- Mix well, let sit for 30 minutes
- Mix again, let sit for 30 minutes
- Mix one last time, let sit for 30 minutes, and go make your slurry and spice
- After that last 30 minutes is up, rinse in cold water 3 times to clean the
- Drain cabbage
- From making your paste, it'll be in another large bowl. Add the slurry to
the spice paste.
- Throw the cabbage in the bowl with your spice paste and slurry, and mix by
hand. It's recommended to wear nitrile gloves for this.
- Add kimchi to your mason jar, and proceed to fermentation
- Add water and flour to pot, mix well, bring up to a boil
- After boiling for 5 minutes, turn heat down to low
- Add sugar, cook for a few minutes until translucent
- Let cool
Mix all of the spice paste ingredients well into a large bowl. Make sure the
bowl is large enough to accept all the cabbage you're salting.
Store the jar at room temperature for a few days to a week. After every meal,
check the jar to see if the lid pops when you press it down. If it doesn't pop,
then pressure has built up and you need to loosen the lid far enough to release
pressure (you'll hear a hiss), then tighten it back up.
I recommend keeping the jar in your kitchen sink just in case of an explosion,
but if you're vigilant about burping it, you shouldn't have any troubles.
How long you ferment depends on how you like your kimchi. A few things happen
- The cabbage softens
- The fish sauce mellows out
- It gets funkier (thanks to acids produced by the bacteria)
I personally like my kimchi with a bit of funk and a soft crunch, which is
usually after about 4 or 5 days. Note that if your place is cold, fermentation
is slower, and likewise it'll speed up if your place is hot. After a couple of
days, give it a taste every day to see how it's going and if it's to your
Once it's fermented to your liking, put the jar into your fridge and enjoy!
It'll slowly keep fermenting in your fridge, so if you don't like funky kimchi
you should eat it up within a week or two.
Some tasty things to make with kimchi:
- Kimchi fried rice
- Kimchi jigae (Korean stew)
- Kimchi scrambled eggs
- Serve it on the side with an Asian dish
- Or be a garbage person like me and eat it straight out of the jar as a snack