Kimchi is a Keeper…Korean favorite now mainstream
Kimchi, a Korean staple, now gone mainstream – well maybe, but I’ve been HOT for it since the first time I tried it years ago. I’m just crazy about that spicy hot Fermented Napa!
While Kimchi can be made out of many different vegetables, and is in its native land, my all-time favorite is Napa cabbage with carrots, scallions, and all the heat and flavor expected in this traditional national dish. The making of Kimchi is a pickling technique that has definitely been embraced by fermenters and those interested in probiotics as well as those interested in Korean food.
Korea’s traditional method of fermenting Kimchi is underground in crocks, where it is stored for months acquiring its unique flavor. There are hundreds and hundreds of versions…my preference is still the Napa. Some people like turnips or cucumbers – you can actually use any vegetable of your choice. Different areas of Korea will have different combinations and ingredients.
I do not bury my Kimchi underground, nor do I let it go for months. My Kimchi ferments in an Asian crock for about 3 days on my dinning room table – quick and easy, and loaded with heat.
Korean people eat Kimchi at any of their meals – breakfast, lunch or dinner. I could eat Kimchi everyday – and probably at every meal. I try to keep it mostly probiotic by not heating it. There are other times, I love it in my Omelets, on top of Fried Rice, or mixed with meat and blended into Meat Balls (that I call Seoul Spheres).
If making this spicy dish – feel free to adjust the heat to your own taste. Try several versions and see what you prefer. There is no right and wrong – it’s about finding your own version.
Spicy hot and delicious!
4 medium-sized heads of Napa Cabbage, core removed, rinsed well, cut
1/2 cup kosher salt or fine sea salt
1 tube ginger paste or 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
(previously peeled and cut)
1 cup dehydrated garlic (slices) or fresh (previously peeled, trimmed and
1 cup red pepper flakes
1 cup red pepper powder (Korean)
8 carrots, peeled trimmed and hand shredded
1 1/2 cups finely chopped chives (previously rinsed and trimmed)
3/4 cup fish sauce
In a giant sized-bowl, place cabbage, salt, ginger paste, garlic, pepper flakes, pepper powder, shredded carrots, chives, and fish sauce.
Mix well with hands until all ingredients are well mixed.
Transfer the ingredients to a brown Asian Crock (or crock of your choice) – Press down and lay weights on top. Cover the crock.
Make sure after two hours the liquid is over the weights.
Let sit for three days – decrock!! Refrigerate once it is removed from the crock.