Easy Homemade Kimchi

Slofoodgroup Team December 29, 2021

How To Make Kimchi From Scratch

​​Kimchi is Korean pickled cabbage with garlic, ginger, and chilies. It is the heart and soul of Korean cuisine, full of healthy and gut-friendly probiotics. We have a very simple recipe for homemade kimchi that tastes better than store-bought. Using few ingredients, making kimchi from scratch only requires 30 minutes of work before nature takes over.

The first step in making kimchi is salting the Napa cabbage. When fermenting kimchi, we need to create a safe and healthy environment for the healthy bacteria to grow. Salt plays a huge role in the fermentation process as it inhibits the growth of undesirable bacteria and molds, it pulls the moisture from the cabbage that undesirable bacteria require for growth and it hardens the pectin in vegetables which gives us a crunchy, flavorful end result.

VERY IMPORTANT: not all salt is equal and not all salt is good for fermenting foods. Regular table salt is the most widely used salt and unfortunately not good for fermenting food. Most table salt contains iodine and other preservatives and  lacks the essential minerals needed for growing good bacteria.

Instead, use sea salt. Sea salt comes from evaporating seawater and ours comes straight from the pristine waters of Greece. All of our pure sea salts are 100% natural and unrefined which makes it perfect for making kimchi!

Serves: about 2 pounds

Prep Time: 30‘

Cooking Time: 0’

Additional Time: 2h’ 

Easy Kimchi Recipe with Napa Cabbage and Fleur de Sel

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head napa cabbage (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup fleur de sel
  • 5 to 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • thumb size piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce, optional
  • 3 tablespoon Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 1-inch sticks
  • 3-4 medium spring onions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

Procedure

  1. Start by cutting the cabbage lengthwise, into quarters. Remove the core from each piece and set it aside.
  2. Place the cabbage in a large container and liberally sprinkle with sea salt. Massage the cabbage with salt until it starts to soften a bit. Cover and weigh it down with something heavy to help release the moisture. Allow sitting for 1-2 hours.
  3. After 1-2 hours the cabbage should be done. A good indicator for this is bending the tougher parts of the cabbage. If it bends without snapping, then the cabbage is ready.
  4. Rinse the cabbage thoroughly under cold water 2-3 times. Set aside to drain in a strainer for about 15 minutes.
  5. To a food processor, add the garlic, ginger, and fish sauce (if using) and pulse to a paste. Add the gochugaru and mix well. Combine the spice paste with the cabbage and mix thoroughly.
  6. Pack the kimchi in clean, sterilized jars. Press the kimchi firmly down into the jars to avoid air pockets. Leave at least 1 inch of space on top and loosely seal the jar.
  7. Allow fermenting for up to 5 days at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. It is best to place a container underneath the jars to catch any overflow. During the fermentation process, air bubbles will form. Check the kimchi once a day and press down with a clean spoon to keep the cabbage submerged in the brine. When tangy in taste, transfer the jars to the fridge and allow to ripen for 1-2 weeks more.





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