Kimchi is fermented cabbage, and there are dozens of varieties. The kind that I'll be making is standard napa cabbage kimchi.
It's not that difficult to make, as long as you're willing to put in the time. It can take several days to properly ferment, so you'll want to make it in advance before you're planning to serve it at your next Korean meal.
In this video I make kimchi and share it with my mom. She's been exposed to a lot of Korean food before, and already likes kimchi.
I've also included the recipe below this video. Check it out~!
Here’s my recipe that I show in this video:
- Napa cabbage (2 lbs)
- Green onions (1 bunch)
- Korean radish (1/2 lb)
- Fresh ginger (1 small knob)
- Garlic (1 bulb)
- Red pepper powder (1/2 cup ~ 1 cup)
- Coarse salt (1 cup)
- Fish sauce (1/2 cup)
- Brined shrimp (2 Tbsp)
- Sugar (2 Tbsp)
- Asian pear (1)
- Water (2 cups)
- Rice flour (2 Tbsp)
Wash the outside of the cabbage, and remove any undesirable parts. Divide into quarters (with hands). Soak in a bowl of cold water to let the cabbage absorb moisture. Remove the cabbage from the water, and drain the excess water. Coat the cabbage with coarse salt completely, between all layers. Place cabbage quarters horizontally into a large container, and place a heavy object on top to press down. Let the cabbage sit until it wilts (approximately 5 to 6 hours). Then remove the cabbage from the container, and rinse off most of the salty water. Let the cabbages air dry.
Boil 2 cups of water with 2 Tbsp of rice flour in a pot. Remove from heat, and let it cool to room temperature.
Sauce: Peel ginger and garlic, then blend together until fine. Chop brined shrimp into smaller pieces. Chop green onions (length is not important). Peel and slice Korean radish and Asian pear (thin slices). Add everything to the sauce base, as well as the fish sauce and sugar. Finally, add red pepper powder and mix everything together.
Cover each of the cabbage quarters completely in the spicy sauce mixture. Make sure the mixture gets into every layer of the cabbage. Pack the cabbage into containers, and let the containers sit covered outside of the refrigerator at room temperature for 2 to 5 days (no less than 2 days). Fermentation will take place during this time, which replaces bad bacteria with good bacteria. Refrigeration is not recommended during this time, as the colder temperature will actually stop fermentation and decrease the kimchi's shelf life. However, you can safely taste the kimchi at any time, even before the fermentation is ready.