Homemade Kimchi Recipe

Korean kimchi, kimchee, 김치

Korean kimchi

Kimchi is the most famous banchan (반찬), which refers to small dishes of food served along with cooked rice in Korean cuisine. It is based on Chinese cabbage (elongated, pale type) to which you can add onions, carrots, and radishes. There are many varieties including cucumber, turnip, etc. You can put whatever you want like. Koreans do not consider that they have had a full meal without kimchi. It is so popular in Korea that there is a kimchi museum in Seoul.

Korean kimchi, kimchee, 김치

Korean kimchi

For this recipe we’ll use a food processor, which allows us to get a fine puree when the ingredients are mixed, without leaving lumps. However, you can do it the old fashioned way, if so inclined.

kimchi004

The spice or chili powder, not the sort of chili powder one uses to cook American cowboy chili.

Kimchi can be quite spicy and is not for the delicate palate or faint at heart. Visually you can just tell it is spicy, all red and mean looking.

Korean kimchi, kimchee, 김치

Korean kimchi

This recipe should yield enough kimchi to fill two large jars. So here we go. You will need: 

  • 1 1/2 lbs (approx.) Chinese cabbage (800 grams)
  • 1 large onion
  • 5 Cloves of garlic
  • 1 Piece ginger – about 2 inches (5 cm)
  • The green part of a leek
  • 1 carrot
  • 3 Tbsp chili flakes (Gochugaru)
  • 1/3 cup Coarse Sea Salt (80g)
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 6 Tbsp jeotgal  (fish sauce)
  • 3 heaping Tbsp rice flour (Chapssal Garu)
  • 3 cups water (75cl)

In some recipes, raw oysters, brine shrimp, squid, etc. are used but we’ll leave that alone for this recipe.

Chinese cabbage

Chinese cabbage

Chinese cabbage

Before and after cutting and salting.

Cut the base of cabbage and split it into quarters lengthwise, then cut it crosswise, about bite size. Rinse under cold water in a colander, then place in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt, mix well and leave to drain for 2 and 1/2 hours, stirring every 1/2 hour. Then, rinse several times in tap water, and do not hesitate to taste to see if it is too salty. If this is the case, rinse again.

Prepare the “porridge” mix rice flour and water in a small saucepan and heat gently for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, stir with a wooden spoon and let thicken over low heat. Let cool in the pan by placing a bowl of ice water.

Step: 1

kimchi007

Mix the onion, garlic, ginger and jeotgal.

 Step: 2

kimchi008

Pour the “porridge” cooled in the bowl and mix with the previous preparation.

 Step: 3

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Add 3 tablespoons pepper or to taste (depending on the strength of your chili).

Vegetables

Step: 4

making kimchi

making kimchi

Cut carrot into thin strips, and chop the green leek into thin strips.

 Step: 5

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Add the vegetables to the spicy preparation and mix.

 Step: 6

making kimchi

making kimchi

Finally, add the drained cabbage and mix.

And here is the result…

Korean kimchi, kimchee, 김치

Korean kimchi

 Place kimchi in clean jars and let sit in the fridge. You can eat it immediately after you make it, but I prefer to let it marinate at least 24 hours. You will find that aging really changes the taste. After a week, or a month, it gets even better.

Korean kimchi, kimchee, 김치

Korean kimchi

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