Kimchi can be preserved for a long time, its hot and spicy taste stimulate the appetite, and it is nutritious, providing vitamins, lactic acid and minerals. It is also high in fibre, good for maintaining a healthy bowel.
Red chili and garlic are the mainstays of the basic Kimchi formula, which calls for heads of fresh cabbage to be cut open, salted, and placed in brine. Later, the vegetables are seasoned with lots of red chili and garlic, and set to ferment.
Besides red chili and garlic, favourite Korean seasonings include spring onion or Korean leek, ginger, sesame oil, rice wine and soy sauce. After being inspired by the Korean show, we were set to make our own Kimchi. Following a recipe in a Korean cook book, this classic Kimchi is made with Chinese cabbage, chives, daikon radish and leek; it’s seasoned with chili garlic and ginger. For a sour Kimchi, cover and store in a cool place for 1-2days to ferment, then keep refrigerated for up to 3 months. Kimchi can also be eaten fresh.
1 large Chinese or Napa cabbage
¾ cups (210g) sea salt
8 cups of water
Kimchi Spice Mixture
4 tbs glutinous rice flour
1.5 cups water (375ml)
2cm ginger, peeled and crushed
4 tbs fish sauce (can be reduced to 3 if too salty)
8-10 tbs groud red pepper
½ tbs sugar
1 radish, sliced into 2 cm strips
1.5 cups Chinese chives, sliced into 2 in lengths
½ leek, thinly sliced diagonally
Rinse the cabbage, remove 2 outer leaves and set aside. Halve the rest of the cabbage lengthwise. Rub ¼ cups of sea salt between all the leaves and place the cabbage in a large plastic tub or container. Add the remaining salt and the water. Place a big plate on top the cabbage to weigh it down and keep the cabbage immersed in a plastic container. Soak for 4 to 6 hours or more, until the stems soften, bend without breaking.
To make the Kimchi Spice Mixture, firstly, make a glutinous rice flour paste by heating the flour and the water in a small saucepan. Stir constantly until it thickens, abt 4 mins, then set aside to cool. Once it has cooled, combines with garlic, ginger, fish sauce, red pepper and sugar in a large bowl and mix well. Add the chives and leek, mix gently and set aside.
After the cabbage has finished soaking, rinse the leaves thoroughly under running water. Fill a tub or container with fresh water and shake the two halves of the cabbage firmly to remove excess water and set aside to drain. Rub the Kimchi Spice Mixture all over the cabbage and in between all the leaves. Press the leaves together and place into a large airtight container. Top with the reserved outer leaves and cover.