Cook Time: 3 hours.
Kimchi has become a staple in my home. We eat it almost every day. But kimchi bought from the store is so expensive for the amount that you get! Making your own is definitely the way to go. With 1 hour of work and 2 hours of waiting time, you can have a yield that will last you over a month if you wanted. I personally make a huge batch once every month or two. And it tastes so much better than the store bought kimchi!
For 1 quart you will need:
- 1 Medium Head of Kimchi
- 1/4 c. Sea Salt
- Water (if needed)
- 1 Tb. Fresh Garlic (grated)
- 1 ts. Fresh Ginger (grated)
- 1 ts. Sugar
- 2-3 Tb. Seafood Flavor or Water
- 1-5 Tb. Korean Red Pepper Flakes (Gochugaru)
- 8 oz. Daikon Radish (peeled & cut into matchsticks)
- 4 Scallions (trimmed & cut into 1 inch pieces)
Slice the nappa lengthwise into 1/4’s. Beginning at the green ends of the nappa, cut down to the core by 2 inch pieces. Remove the core and place the rest of the nappa into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt.
Massage until the leaves begin to soften (about 10 minutes). Weigh down with something heavy. Sometimes I will use a plate that fits inside the bowl and put something heavy on top of the plate. You want to make sure that the juice from the cabbage covers it so that it can marinate.
Marinate for 1-2 hours. While marinating, make the paste. Combine the garlic + ginger + sugar + and water (or seafood flavor) into a small bowl and mix to form a paste. Mix in the gochugaru, using 1-5 Tb, depending on how spicy you would like it. 1 being not spicy at all, and 5 being pretty zesty. I usually put 6 Tb. in so it’s really whatever type of taste you are going for.
Once marinated, rinse and drain the nappa 3 times, then drain for 15 minutes. Rinse and dry the bowl you used for salting and set aside.
Squeeze the remaining juice from the nappa and return it to the large bowl which you set aside. Add the daikon, scallions and the paste. Mix thoroughly.
Pack the mixture into a quart-sized jar and make sure there is a 1 inch space between the top of the mixture and the jar’s lid. Once it is secure within the jar, seal it with the lid and set aside on a folded kitchen towel or plate. During the fermentation process it is normal for the juice inside to expand due to the bubbles that form, and this will ensure there is less overflow. I place a folded kitchen towel under mine, just in case.
Now the hard part is done! Set aside in a neutral place for 5-10 days like a kitchen corner that doesn’t get much light, or in a cabinet. One of the best batches I ever made was kept in the basement. I usually let mine sit for 10-14 days before I put it in the fridge. Check it daily by mashing it down with a long fork or utensil until most of the bubbles release. Make sure the brine is covering the top. After 5 days begin checking it by tasting it, until you are satisfied.
If there is any overflow, make sure the outside of the jar is clean before setting it in the fridge. This will halt the fermentation process and it is ready to eat!
Want to know the best thing about this recipe besides the taste? Its 5-6 month shelf life!
This “superfood” is well known for it’s health benefits. The longer you let it sit, the healthier it becomes as the fermentation process produces active cultures. These natural probiotics help improve digestion, suppress harmful bacteria and invigorate beneficial bacteria, preventing constipation and cleansing the intestinal tract. This helps fight against colon cancer! And by keeping your digestive tract clean, kimchi helps increase your immunity. There’s a long list of bacteria and viruses it fights against. It’s high in fiber and helps reduce cravings. It’s low calorie too! It provides anti-oxidants that fight against cancer and it is absolutely delicious. If you like sauerkraut, you will love kimchi.
If you are keeping track of what you are eating, whether you have a health condition or are overweight and not sure if you are getting all the nutrients you need, this next section is for you. It’s always good to know what we are putting into our bodies, especially if you are looking to get healthy and stay healthy.
Note: This label’s nutrition facts are for the entire quart, not per serving.