If you like Korean food, then you must love Kimchi!
I first tasted kimchi many, many moons ago when Korean food was not even known in Manila. I got invited to a home where the lady of the house was Korean and she served us this. It was a love affair since then!
I asked the lady for the recipe which she freely gave but knowing myself, I had to make it the best.
I now offer you a very excellent Kimchi. Try it!
Kimchi is the spicy fermented cabbage side dish that is present in most Korean meals. Make a big batch and enjoy it for 6-12 months.
- 1 medium Chinese cabbage (about 1 kilo) - cut in half, lengthwise, then slice 1 ½ -inch wide from the top; when reaching the middle portion, slice 1- inch wide till 1 inch from the bottom; discard bottom part
- 1 large Korean radish (it weighs about half a kilo or more) - peel and slice into thick matchsticks; I like using a mandoline, which makes the slicing even and quicker
- 4 liters of warm water
- 1 cup rock salt for cabbage brine
- 3 tablespoons rock salt for radish
- 2 tablespoons glutinous rice flour
- 400 ml water
- 6 tablespoons fish sauce
- 6 tablespoons anchovy sauce
- 2 small onions
- 2 tablespoons fermented shrimp
- 12 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon ginger - sliced julienne
- 2 banana chilies
- 2 bird eye chilies
- ½ cup to 2 cups Korean chili flakes or powder or mixture (adjust to your taste; mild to hot) (my personal taste is ½ to ¾ cup)
- 8 tablespoons sugar
- salt to taste
- ½ bunch shallots, sliced
- 1 bunch garlic chives, cut into matchstick lengths
- ½ minari (Korean watercress; water drop wort; Chinese celery; Japanese parsley), picked, washed, cut into 5 cm pieces
Cut cabbage and soak in salted water, 1 cup salt in 16 cups warm water, for 12 hours.
After 12 hours, drain the cabbage and squeeze and set aside.
About 4 hours before the cabbage is to be drained, cut radish and soak for 4 hours in salt. Toss around every hour. Drain the radish after 4 hours for 30 minutes.
In a saucepan, cook the 2 tablespoons of glutinous rice flour in 400ml water until it becomes a thick roux-like texture. Keep warm.
In a blender, add the fish sauce, anchovy sauce, onions, fermented shrimp, garlic, ginger, fresh chilies, chili flakes and powder, sugar and the flour mix. Season to taste and blend until a smooth paste forms.
In bowl, mix the paste with the cabbage, radish, shallots and chives.
Add the minari.
Place everything into an airtight container, and ferment at room temperature for 6 hours during the summer and 12 hours in the winter.
Before placing in the refrigerator, make sure the cabbage is covered in liquid to prevent bad bacteria from growing.
This will keep for 6 - 12 months.