How to cook Kimchi (김치)

Published: 14-May-2023 (20:15); Viewed: 931; Difficulty: 3 out of 10

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How to cook Kimchi (김치)
Kimchi (김치) is a traditional Korean side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables, usually napa cabbage, or Chinese leaves, and Korean radishes, mixed with a variety of seasonings, such as chilli powder, garlic, ginger, and fish sauce. It is a staple in Korean cuisine and is often served as a side dish with rice or as a condiment with meat dishes. Kimchi (김치) is known for its spicy and tangy flavour and is also believed to have health benefits due to the presence of beneficial bacteria produced during the fermentation process.

Kimchi is a popular dish not only in Korea, but all around the world. In Korea, kimchi is often served with every meal, and many families have their own unique recipes and methods of preparation.

Furthermore, kimchi has gained popularity worldwide due to its unique flavour and taste, which combines spicy, sour, and umami flavours. It can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, stir-fries, and even sandwiches.

And also, it is important to notice, that kimchi is also known for its potential health benefits. The fermentation process used to make kimchi produces bacteria known as probiotics, which can help promote gut health and boost the immune system. Additionally, kimchi contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a nutritious addition to any meal.

As you can see, there is no right or wrong kimchi recipe, and everybody does their own! In this recipe, I will show my way of cooking it. This will be not really suitable for vegetarians.

step-by-step instructions

  1. Ingredients. This will be not vegetarian kimchi. It will have fish sauce and squids. Therefore not really suitable for pure vegetable lovers. But I think these ingredients are crucial for the perfect taste. So, let’s have a look at the ingredient list:
    • Chinese leaves/Napa cabbage – 5 pounds
    • Salt for cabbage – ½ cup
    • Rice for rice paste – 1/3 cup (or ¼ cup of rice flour). Use sticky rice for sushi or risotto.
    • Water – 1 and half cups
    • Sugar – 2 tbsp
    • Green onion – 2 medium bunches
    • Daikon (Mooli) radish – 8-10 cm root
    • 1 medium carrot - optional
    • 1 hard pear - optional
    • Salted squid ½ cup, or use halved salted salmon head
    • Medium onion - 1
    • Large garlic bulb - 1
    • Fish sauce – ½ cup
    • Ginger – 2cm root
    • Gochugaru – Korean chilli flakes – 1 cup
    Unfortunately, the picture does not show all the ingredients, but I hope this description with video will be good enough to understand everything.

  2. Prepare cabbage – remove dirty leaves and cut off damaged parts. Cur cabbage a bit at the base and then rip it apart. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Wash them and then mix them with the salt. Keep salting for 3 hours, carefully turning every 30 min.

  3. Cooking rice porridge or rice paste. Mix rice, or rice flour with water and bring to a boil, stirring every so often. Add sugar. Cook at low heat to avoid burning. Cook until it will have to be paste-like structure. After cooking – chill it down, because for making paste it should be at room temperature.

  4. Chop vegetables for the kimchi filling. Green onion and daikon (mooli) should be sliced thinly. If you use carrot and pear – slice it thinly and add as well to this mixture. Also finely slice salted squid and add to this mixture. If you use salted fish head – only cut it into halves.

  5. Paste for kimchi – this is very important to make it properly because it has all flavours! So, roughly chop onion, garlic and ginger. It is better to chop ginger a bit better. Mix all of them, add fish sauce, rice porridge and blend them together into a fine paste. Add gochugaru and mix this paste with our sliced vegetables.

  6. When the 3 hours finish, wash the salted cabbage from excessive salt, so liquid etc., but do it gently, do not crush them.

  7. Mix salted Chinese leaves with our paste and leave it in a salt-resistant container for two weeks for fermenting. If you use big leaves, make sure that you’ve spread paste everywhere, between all leaves. That is why it is much easier to work with chopped to bite-sized leaves. Cover with cling-film and leave for 2 weeks for fermenting.

  8. Taste it and enjoy it!!! It is really lovely and nice.

    Please watch our video, if you have any questions!

    You can also ask some questions there and we will answer you promptly!

tips and tricks

  • It is much better to use food-graded gloves for the final mixing.
  • Adjust the spice level by increasing or reducing the amount of gochugaru you’ve used. Add birds eye chilli for extra spices
  • It is ok to ferment for 2 weeks at room temperature and then it will stay two more weeks ready to eat at room temperature.
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by: Librarian
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tags: gochugaru; korean cuisine; napa cabbage; salted food; soy sauce

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