So a little about me – I pretty much love all the cooking flavours of Asia, which are vast and so amazing. I learn about new ones every time I find a new recipe! I probably cook more Chinese and Korean food than that of my own native country of Nepal. Being born in America and growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I was surrounded by a lot of different cultures and the amazing food they originate from.
Then I moved to England in 2012, and while London gives you naught for want, Essex’s lack of diversity unfortunately leaves you pining for authentic Eastern flavours. Essex has many amazing things to offer, but unfortunately, a diverse array of quality food isn’t one of them.
One of my favourite foods to eat is Kimchi. Kimchi is flavourful, great to eat by itself or to add to other foods. Luckily, I found the blog of Maangchi, a brilliant Korean chef in New York. She shares with us her recipes and how simplifies it for the rest of us. Today, I will be sharing my version her recipe. My version is due to what I could find available in my local grocery shops. You can find the original here.
Traditional Napa Cabbage Kimchi
For salting cabbage:
- 1 extra large head of Chinese leaf
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
For making porridge:
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons of glutinous rice flour (sub with regular all-purpose if you don’t have it)
- 2 tablespoons of Demerara sugar (sub with brown or white sugar if you don’t have it)
- 2 cups white radish, julienne
- 1 cup carrot, julienne
- 8 Spring (green) onions, chopped
- 1 cup of chopped Asian chives
- [Optional] 1 cup chopped Chinese water spinach
Seasonings and Spices:
- 1/2 cup garlic, minced (26 cloves)
- 2 teaspoon ginger, minced
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1/2 cup fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups hot pepper flakes (or less if you can’t handle too much fire)
- Cut the cabbage into 1/2 lengthwise, and add a slit to each half, while still keeping it attached to the core.
- Dunk into a large basin filled wth water.
- Take plenty of salt and place between each layer of leaf.
- Leave cabbage to rest for 2 hours, turning every 30 minutes.
- Rinse with fresh cold water to remove any excess salt and dirt.
- Chop into 2″ pieces, drain well, and place aside.
- It’s time to make the porridge! The porridge is important as it will allow the spice mixture to adhere to the cabbage.
- Combine flour and water in a small pot. Mix well (no lumps) and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes until it bubbles. Add sugar and cook for an additional 1 minute, then set aside to coo completely.
- Once cooled, add the porridge to a large bowl containing all the seasonings and spices.
- Add all vegetables to the bowl and mix. I recommended adding one extra teaspoon of salt, but you should add salt according to your desired taste.
- Take kimchi paste and mix it well with the cut cabbage. I massaged mine for about 5 minutes. When it’s well covered, pack it into your Onggi (fermentation jar), plastic containers, or glass jars.
- Eat immediately or leave outside for a few days to ferment, then place inside your fridge and enjoy!
Directly from Maangchi on Fermentation:
The kimchi will start fermenting a day or two at room temperature, depending on the temperature and humidity of your room. The warmer and more humid it is, the faster the kimchi will ferment. Once it starts to ferment it will smell and taste sour, and pressing on the top of the kimchi with a spoon will release bubbles from beneath.
Once it starts to fermented, store in the refrigerator to use as needed. This slows down the fermentation process, which will make the kimchi more and more sour as time goes on.
Aaaaaaaaand thats it! Hope you enjoyed reading this week’s recipe! I fermented my kimchi for 5 days, and loved seeing the bubbles come up to the surface every time I pushed it down with a spoon. Just one large cabbage made enough to fill my little onggi and 3 medium glass jars The family absolutely loved it. I must say that the kimchi in the Onggi tastes the best though – afterall, the proper tools do give you a proper outcome! 🤗
Thanks for reading! Stay posted until next Tuesday for another tasty recipe.