Easy, Fast Kimchi Recipe {Mak Kimchi}

I like kimchi and most fermented foods, but it’s expensive to buy in the UK. You can only get them from a few health stores, or at a premium price in limited supermarkets, but not local to me. As part of my health approach following the Christmas excess, I decided to have a go at making my own kimchi.

This recipe from Foodie with Family was practical and easy to make; it only took a few hours. It’s spicy, delicious, and brilliant for your gut health; I have it daily. There is a Korean casserole that I want to try that incorporates kimchi, so watch this space! And my new favourite addition to soups and stocks is miso paste.

I’ve researched a few more helpful tips on other sites, which I will add where needed.

Ingredients

  • 3-8 pounds napa cabbage (I used two large Chinese cabbages which has filled two Kilner jars)
  • 2 bunches green onions trimmed of the root bits
  • 2-3 large carrots peeled, thinly julienned
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup korean chili powder (This is the one I bought).
  • 15-20 cloves garlic, peeled (I used 17 cloves). Note: make sure you don’t overdo the garlic, as it will stay on your breath longer than usual
  • 4-6 inches ginger peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • unsweetened pear juice or unsweetened apple juice (I used a 250ml bottle of unsweetened cloudy apple juice)
  • 4 tablespoons white miso paste

Method

  • Cut the cabbage in half longways, then in half again longways. Cut the core out of the four quarters. Cut the cabbage into squares (about 2-3 inches square), pop it in a bowl with the carrots.
  • Sprinkle with the 1/2 cup kosher salt, massage so everything is coated in salt and starting to soften and wilt. Use cold, chlorine-free water to cover the vegetables well and let it soak for at least 1 1/2 hours.
  • Pour the cabbage/carrots and liquid into a strainer. Let the brine drain away.
  • Cut off the white bits of the green onions and put them in a food processor with the garlic cloves, ginger, miso paste, and Korean pepper powder. Process it on high until it’s smooth. I used the Ninja processor programme on puree.
  • Add in the fish sauce, gradually adding pear or apple juice and process it until it’s about pancake batter consistency… maybe a bit thinner. To get it to this consistency, I used 250ml of apple juice.
  • Put the brined cabbage/carrots in a big, anti-reactive (glass, enamel, or stainless steel) bowl. Roughly chop the green parts of the onions, then add those to the cabbage and carrots.
  • Pour the chili paste mixture over the cabbage. You definitely need to wear gloves to massage it all over the cabbage/carrots/green onions so everything is completely covered. This took me about 8 minutes.
  • Pack the kimchi mix tightly into the jars. CRAM it in there. I used the end of a wooden rolling pin to pack it down.
  • Add a two-piece lid, but just set the ring in place so it holds the lid down without screwing it in place. Place it on a rimmed baking dish, to catch any spill-over. Let it sit at room temperature for up to 72 hours, until it is bubbly and fragrant.
  • Once every day, insert a clean chopstick or butterknife to release air bubbles. If needed, pour in some additional brine to keep all the vegetables submerged.
  • I made some extra brine that I keep in a jar in the fridge to make sure the kimchi is covered with brine. To make the brine add 4 tbsp of kosher/sea salt to 4 cups of filtered water. Every time I add it I use a long wooden skewer to release air bubbles.
  • Store on a rimmed sheet in the refrigerator for up to six months, being sure that the vegetables are submerged the whole time. The older it gets, the stronger it will become.

Nutrition

Calories: 9kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Sodium: 1894mg | Potassium: 29mg | Vitamin A: 645IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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