Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Korean Style Kimchi

We have had an interestingly wet, cool, hot, cool, warm, wet, hot, cooler, warm, summer. It has my vegetable garden growing produce in abundance. I've had several heads of napa cabbage grow to Alaska size and it's wonderfully delicious in salads or stir fries. I can't find enough ways to use it as other produce is also coming on fast so I wanted to find a way to preserve the flavors of summer for winter enjoyment.
We love spicy everything, although as we age we have toned the sizzling hot down to enjoyably spicy. Having said that there is still a place at the table for a bit of sizzle now and then. Kimchi is a great pro-biotic type of condiment that goes well with rice and any topping. This recipe is pretty spicy, so adjust to your taste. If you are worried, add less chili powder than I suggest, and taste a piece of cabbage. You will know if it's too much or not enough. Let me know if you give it a try. Enjoy!

Prep Time:


  • 1 head (about 2 pounds) napa (Chinese) cabbage
  • 1/4 cup  sea or canning salt ( pure salt with no additives is best)
  • 4-6 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 pound daikon radish or turnips, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 1 carrot, cut into thin strips
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Korean red pepper powder (gochugaru) to taste( I used 1/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon cane sugar ( helps with the curing process)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce, optional, but it gives it the characteristic umami flavor 
  • Cold water, filtered or spring 


  1. Cut the cabbage lengthwise and remove the core, then chop the remaining cabbage into one-inch strips.
  2. Place cabbage into a glass bowl and sprinkle with salt, mixing it together with clean hands.
  3. Cover salted cabbage with cold water. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for 4-24 hours. Note: You may need to place a weight on top of the cabbage to keep it completely submerged under the brine.
  4. Drain the brine from the cabbage. Reserve brine.
  5. Place remaining ingredients in large bowl and mix together.
  6. Add cabbage to bowl and toss with clean hands.
  7. Repack cabbage into individual glass jars with lids, packing tightly and adding brine if necessary to cover. Leave about one inch of space.
  8. Close lids.
  9. Allow to ferment at room temperature for one to seven days, depending on your preference.
  10. Refrigerate once kimchi is at desired fermentation level.

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