Monday, December 6, 2010

Killer kimchi

Pictured above: the finished kimchi nestling in the souffle dish I used to cure it.

I’ve posted a kimchi recipe before. But each time I make it there is a variation or many variations. You can make it with any kind of cabbage. You can make it spicy or mild. You can make it very salty or not so salty. You can buy it already made in Asian markets. But, as usual, there is a huge satisfaction reaped by making your own.

I use a soufflé dish to cure it in. It works well with a 1 lb. hunk of cabbage. This time I actually had to set aside some of the Napa cabbage, it wouldn’t all fit in the container. I made a chili garlic sauce of my own creation. It is hot as hell, and I used it sparingly in the kim chi. The reason to make your own chili/garlic sauce is that a commercial brand may have additives that will inhibit the curing process.

Killer kimchi
1 lb. Napa cabbage
brine (3 cups water in which 2 ½ tbsp kosher salt has been dissolved)
1 carrot, grated
2 oz. grated daikon radish (or some red radishes to taste)
2 scallions, rough chopped
2 large cloves garlic, chopped fine
2-3 tbsp grated ginger root
1 Thai bird chili, seeded and minced
2 tbsp homemade chili/garlic sauce (recipe below)

Slice the cabbage across at about 1/4” intervals. Place in a non-reactive crock. Toss with the carrot and daikon or radish. Pout the brine over it to just cover. Fill a plastic freezer bag with enough water to allow it to spread out and completely cover the surface of the nascent kim chi. Drape a kitchen towel over the crock and put it in a warm place for 24 hours.

Drain and reserve.the brine. Mix in the scallions, garlic, ginger, Thai chili and chili/garlic sauce. Replace the water bag and set aside in a warm place. Every 24 hours press the kimchi with your (clean) hands. It will be ready to eat after 5-7 days, at which point you can put it into the fridge.

*Chili/garlic sauce
4 dried red chili peppers, seeded
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp reserved brine
1 tbsp. tomato paste

Puree all ingredients with an immersion blender. Use sparingly as it will be hot, hot, hot.


Georgia (The Comfort of Cooking) said...

This is impressive, Stephen! I enjoy kimchi so much at restaurants, but I guess I've never taken the leap to make it myself. You make it sound like a fairly simple process! Thanks for sharing.

Mary said...

I've never made my own kimchi because I have a wonderful local source. BUT. You are putting ideas into my head. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Jenn said...

Looks good Stephen! I love the homemade garlic chili sauce...never thought of making my own!!

Pam said...

Way to go Stephen! It looks great! I've always wanted to try this and hopefully have the courage now after seeing this. Thanks for the recipe!

Pam said...

I've never had kimchi before but I hear it's delicious.

Chris said...

Making kimchi has been on my list of things to try to make soon. Yours sounds amazing.

On your garlic chili sauce, is it hotter than commercial sauces?

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