Traditional Kimchi


Fermented foods aid in digestion and help to support the immune system. Kimchi is one of the many that fall into this category. Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean side dish and condiment typically made with Napa cabbage. However, kimchi can be eaten alone, as well. There are many varieties of kimchi; nettles kimchi, beetroot and radish kimchi, and kimchi with a base of cabbage with added garlic, ginger and daikon radishes (like this one). After giving this one a try, explore variations using your own locally grown vegetables.

Prep Time: 30 minutes 
Cook Time: 53 hours 30 minutes 
Yield: 1 gallon 

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads Napa cabbage
  • 2 gallons water
  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 2 small heads of garlic, chopped and finely minced
  • 1 4-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2/3 cup chili paste
  • 2 teaspoons raw sugar
  • 5 scallions, cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 2 medium daikon radishes, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce

Directions:

  1. Chop the cabbage into pieces (roughly two inch squares or sliced in narrow strips). Be sure to cut away the tough parts of the stem.
  2. Place salt and water in a very large, non-metal container. Stir to dissolve salt. Submerge the cabbage pieces in the salt water mixture. Place a plate on top, keeping the cabbage submerged. Let cabbage mixture stand for five or six hours.
  3. 10 minutes before cabbage has finished soaking, combine garlic, ginger, chili paste, sugar, scallions, radishes and fish sauce in a very large glass bowl.
  4. Drain and rinse the cabbage under cold water. Squeeze the rinsed cabbage with your hands. Add the cabbage to the seasoning mixture. Stir mixture to coat cabbage with seasonings.
  5. Once well coated, pack the kimchi mixture into glass canning jars. Cover tightly using either canning jar lids or clamp lids (with new seals). Allow kimchi to sit in a cool place, out of direct sunlight, for one or two days.
  6. After one to two days, check the kimchi. When it begins to bubble, it's ready to be refrigerated. If it hasn’t yet begun to bubble, let it stand another day before refrigerating.

*Keep kimchi refrigerated. The kimchi will stay for about three weeks. After that time, it may have fermented too much to eat.