Sunday, June 7, 2009

Korean Classic Cabbage Kimchi

“A man can live without a wife but not without Kimchi”, this is an old Korean saying. Even today, it is virtually impossible to find a Korean family without a clay Kimchi pots being buried in the earth or on the porch or balcony.

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.

Before soaking

After soaking

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.
Leave the Kimchi to stand unrefrigerated overnight or 1 day, then refrigerate.
Daikon Kimchi is an excellent accompaniment to noodle dishes like beef noodle.


Angie's Recipes said...

wow! Perfect Kimchi......

Cindy Khor said...

i love kimchi, but normally am too lazy to make them so i buy them ready made ones. your homemade ones looks tasty, if i've got the time, i'll will try to make them.

noobcook said...

wow you make your own kimchi! I'm impressed, they look really delicious XD

Alicia said...

what a nice blog with all the wonderful recipes! I love Kimchi too :) As I am very new in blogging, you are welcome to my page to give advises and comments for improvement and so...thks!

homeladychef said...

Hi Angie, thanks!

Hi Cindy, making Kimchi for me, is taking a really big step forward in my culinary adventure, if i can do it, evrybody can do it. ;)

Noobcook, thanks! Sometimes, i'm trying my luck, so far so good with its tasting, hehe...

Hi Alicia, Thanks for your compliment. I am new in blogging too. Nice having you here. :)

Jo said...

I can't believe you are making your own kimchi. I would just go out and buy some .. simply too lazy but I do love this stuff. It's very addictive.

homeladychef said...

Haha...I just wanna try out and see how. :) So far until now, I haven't died yet from eating it...

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