I absolutely love kimchi. Until last year, I suspected that it was not the kind of thing that could easily be made at home, but inspired by a post on Signal Mountain Farm’s blog, I decided to give it a try. While there are more steps than making sauerkraut, the actual process is not more difficult. The following is what I’ve landed on as my go-to kimchi recipe, with inspiration heavily borrowed from the SMF blog and The Kitchn’s post. I’ve also included a recipe for the simplest fried rice ever which uses kimchi, because it may or may not be what I’ve been eating for breakfast lately.
Let stand at room temperature for 1-2 hours (longer is better, especially if the temperature in your house is cooler, but do what you have time for). Rinse the cabbage very well and drain in a colander.
Meanwhile combine the garlic, ginger, water or fish sauce and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. I use a LOT of red pepper, but if you are sensitive to spicy food, start slowly with 1 T.
When the cabbage has drained fully, squeeze out any excess water by dumping it out onto a clean kitchen towel, gathering it up in a bundle and pressing it firmly against the bottom of the colander.
Mix the cabbage, radishes and spring onions together in a bowl, then mix in the garlic paste. Pack into a jar (or more than one, if necessary), pushing down so that the brine covers the vegetables. Allow to sit at room temperature for up to a week. Check the kimchi daily, tasting for doneness and pressing the mixture into the jar so that the vegetables remain submerged in brine. Place the jar in the refrigerator. It will continue to improve in flavor for the next couple of weeks, but you can eat it immediately.
Makes 1 quart-size jar.
Makes breakfast for one or a side dish for two.