Now I am no expert in Asian food, complete amateur actually, I follow recipes and try things, but I could never just throw things together to make a meal. The ingredients were easy to find, all except the Korean Chilli Powder. As I didn't feel like going to an Asian grocer that day, I opted to use fresh chillies, which was in the recipe as a substitute for the chilli powder anyway. And because I used fresh chillies and I know kimchi has a red colouring to it, I added some hot Hungarian paprika powder (about 1/2-1 teaspoon), just so I could get the red colour going through the kimchi.
I have since made it with Korean Chilli Powder, and although it tastes great, I prefer the fresh chilli version.
My husband was skeptical at first, he thought it wouldn't work, but it did, and he loved it. The kimchi can last up to 3 months in the fridge, no chance in my house, it was gone in 4 days, my husband just kept going back to the jar non stop. He even said it was better than kimchi he buys from Asian take away shops.
I always double the recipe when I make this.
The recipe states not to wash the cabbage prior to salting, just shake off any soil, I find cabbage quite clean. so this is not a problem.
Everyday I would pop the lid open, so my jar doesn't 'explode' as the lid starts to round up during the fermentation process.
So this is now something my husband asked if I could make once a month, so I hope you give this a try and love it as well.
1/2 wombok (Chinese cabbage), cut into 5 x 6cm slices
30g (1/3 cup) sea salt, medium to fine ground
375ml (1 1/2 cups) warm water
5-6 garlic cloves
1cm piece fresh ginger
4-6 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean chilli powder)
3 long fresh red chillies, chopped (+ 1/2 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika, see intro *)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2-2 tablespoons caster sugar
3-4 green shallots, sliced diagonally into 1.5cm slices
Place the cabbage in a large glass bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and pour over the water. Toss to combine and set aside for 1.5 hours, turning the cabbage occasionally, or until wilted. Rinse under cold water at least 3 times, then transfer to a colander. Drain well (as it will ensure crunchier kimchi). Place in a large clean bowl, set aside.
In a small food processor add the garlic, ginger and gochugaru (or chilli and paprika), blitz until finely chopped. Add the garlic mixture, fish sauce, sugar and shallots to the cabbage. Use your hands (rubber gloves come in handy here) to quickly but thoroughly combine.
Place the kimchi in a large sterilised glass jar, allowing a 3cm gap from the top of the jar (as liquid can overflow during fermentation). I gently pressed the kimchi down so that the liquid covers the cabbage. Set aside at room temperature for 3 days to ferment. Store in the fridge for up to 3 months.
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