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