How to make kimchi

I love kimchi. I have been buying the Peace, Love and Vegetables brand for some time now and had been adding it to my lunches and/or dinners to add some flavours and extra goodness to my meals.

If you are not familiar with kimchi it is:

a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings. In traditional preparation, kimchi was stored in underground in jars to keep cool during the summer months and unfrozen during the winter months. There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi made from napa cabbage, radish, scallion, or cucumber as a main ingredient.{source}

I really enjoy making food from scratch so have been working over the last couple of months to make my own kimchi. I have read widely on kimchi making and there are so many different lists of ingredients and methods out there. I wanted to replicate the flavour of the Peace, Love and Vegetables so used the ingredient list on the jar as my base.

I used these resources, taking bits and pieces from them to come up with a method that has worked well for me:

This recipe is less traditional as I use a standard cabbage and no shrimp paste or fish sauce, but it certainly tastes like the Peace, Love and Vegetables which make me very happy!

If you are wondering what all the fuss is about fermented foods, these articles are worth a read:

how to make kimchi DSC05539While there are a few steps in the process to make kimchi, it is actually easy, so do not be deterred – it is worth the effort. Once cut, I sprinkle salt on to the cabbage and use my hands to grind the salt into the cabbage. I then put a plate with weights on top and let it sit for a couple of hours. The salt helps draw the moisture from the cabbage. how to make kimchi DSC05540

Once this process has nearly finished, I start preparing the remaining ingredients. I use a vegetable peeler to make fine slices of sweet potato and carrot, then chop them roughly with a knife.

how to make kimchi DSC05619I use lot of ginger, turmeric, garlic and chilli, to make a paste. This little chopper comes in very handy for this. how to make kimchi DSC05620

It is then a matter of mixing all the ingredients together.

how to make kimchi DSC05622Once well combined the kimchi is then packed into jars. I put handfuls in at a time and press down with my fist. This helps release more liquid from the vegetables. how to make kimchi DSC05623

I continue the packing process until the jar is almost full.

how to make kimchi DSC05633DSC05627Always keep the outer layer of the cabbage, to place on top of the kimchi while it ferments. how to make kimchi DSC05633

The jars of kimchi are then placed up on a high shelf (open space) in the kitchen to ferment for 3 -5 days.

how to make kimchi DSC05633

My kids actually detest the smell of kimchi and don’t eat it at all. More for me! At least most of them drink kombucha so are getting the health benefits from that. how to make kimchi DSC05600

Once the kimchi has fermented in can be stored in the fridge.

how to make kimchi DSC05605Kimchi is an easy way to get more veggies and flavour on my plate, which is why I love it so much. how to make kimchi DSC05608  

How to make kimchi
 
Author::
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Ingredients:
  • I large cabbage
  • 4 tsp Celtic sea salt
  • 400 grams sweet potato
  • 250 grams carrot
  • 6 cms ginger
  • 4 cms turmeric
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 red chillies
Method:
  1. Cut cabbage to your desired width and shape. I cut it up finely and into shorter pieces which makes for easier eating.
  2. Place the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle salt on to the cabbage.
  3. Using your hands (I recommend using gloves) massage the salt into the cabbage and squeeze the cabbage with your hands.
  4. Place a plate with weights on top and let it sit for a couple of hours. The salt helps draw the moisture from the cabbage.
  5. Once this process has nearly finished, begin preparing the remaining ingredients. I use a vegetable peeler to make fine slices of sweet potato and carrot, then chop them roughly with a knife.
  6. Peel and mince ginger, turmeric, garlic and chilli, to make a paste. I use a Tupperware little chopper for this, but you could grate/crush the spices.
  7. It is then a matter of mixing all the ingredients together. Again I recommend using gloved hands for this.
  8. Once well combined the kimchi is then packed into jars. Place handfuls in at a time and press down with your fist. This helps release more liquid from the vegetables. Continue the packing process until the jar is almost full. You need to leave some space at the top though.
  9. Always keep the outer layer of the cabbage, to place on top of the kimchi while it ferments. Ensure the cabbage leaf cabbage mixture submerged in the brine while it ferments. Some people place a weight on top to ensure this happens.
  10. The jars of kimchi are then placed up on a high shelf (open space) in the kitchen to ferment for 3 -5 days. Length of time depends on temperature and other factors, so do a taste test before putting in the fridge.
  11. Once ready kimchi can be stored in the fridge.
Notes:
In my research most people recommended using Celtic Sea Salt to ferment vegetables. This article explains why salt choice is important.

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The most popular recipes from the blog have been included and more will be added on a regular basis. Each recipe lists the ingredients required, easy to follow instructions and a photo from the blog.

Have you fermented veggies before? If so what?