Fermentation Fun: Basic Kimchi

Asian cuisine is one of my favorites, and every time I get the chance I always order some delicious kimchi! The spicy fermented cabbage flavor, mmm…my mouth is watering just thinking about it. So I decided to get in on the fermentation fun myself and give making it a try!

Surprisingly these complex flavors are pretty easy to create. It just takes a few days before you can get to eating it. Step one is simply to cut and soak your cabbage in salt water for 12 – 24 hours. Easy enough.

Then you bring all your other ingredients together, add in the strained cabbage, and hand mix it up.

There it is! Once the mixture is ready, put it in a tight sealing glass container (the smell might never leave plastic), and you’re ready. Put it in a cool dark place for 24 hours, burp your glass to let out any pressure, and then refrigerate for 48 hours up to a week before eating. That’s it! I’ll check back in when I find out how this turns out…

Basic Kimchi
1 (2-pound) napa cabbage
1/2 cup kosher salt
About 12 cups cold water, plus more as needed
8 ounces daikon radish, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
4 medium scallions, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces (use all parts)
1/3 cup Korean red pepper powder
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger (from about a 2-ounce piece)
1 tablespoon minced garlic cloves (from 6 to 8 medium cloves)
2 teaspoons Korean salted shrimp, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Cut the cabbage in half, and then in quarters. Chop into 1 inch pieces, discarding the ends. In a large bowl, mix cabbage with salt, then fill with water making sure all the cabbage is submerged. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-24 hours.

Once cabbage is ready, drain in a colander and rinse throughly with cold water. Gently squeeze out excess water and set aside in a small bowl. In the large bowl, mix all other ingredients. Add in cabbage and hand mix to make sure everything gets evenly mixed. Put mixture in glass jar with a tight seal. Store in a cool dark place for 24 hours, then refrigerate at least 48 hours before eating.

You can find the recipe I used here.

Happy fermenting!