Kimchi is something that my family loves to eat. I’m a huge fan of it myself, but I also have to moderate how much I consume due to the heat. (Acid reflux sucks, guys.) I can’t say that my version is a hundred percent “authentic” since I’m not Korean and the recipe I pulled from online is more of a guideline than an actual … measurement.
Yes, I’m one of those kind of cooks. I’ll abide by the recipe for the first attempt then go from there. I’ve been doing kimchi this way for a few years now and gifted a few jars to friends. Most of them who have had “authentic” kimchi said that it tasted on par. And some of my friends who are not typically fans of it actually enjoyed it.
We’ve tried growing Daikon Radishes in the garden, but they don’t get that large. I managed a quick trip over to the Sunrise Asian Market today. Got one of the HUGE Daikon, a head of Napa Cabbage, some carrots, and some green onions. I peel the daikon, cut it in half, then cut it into thin slices. Then I shred the cabbage. I’m super lazy with carrots and buy the matchstick ones, since we also use them as a salad garnish. The top half of the green onions are chopped into one inch pieces. The whites are minced finely for the kimchi sauce.
I don’t measure how much salt I use, but I sprinkle it heavily over the vegetables and add lukewarm water so that it can dissolve the salt. I let it brine like that for at least 2 hours, tossing it occasionally through the time period. Rinse well, then drain. Make sure you squeeze out all the water or it’ll effect the concentration of your kimchi!
I’m really not a fan of using too many extra bowls so I’m the horrible cook that just tosses everything into the same bowl. I add the minced green onions, purée garlic from a tube, then about two more spoonful of mince garlic (because extra garlic is always good), purée ginger from a tube, a splash of fish sauce (I don’t use a ton, because the pungent smell is usually offsetting for my family), coconut vinegar, Gochugaru flakes (Korean red pepper), Gochujang (red pepper paste), and honey I know it sounds redundant to use red pepper flakes and paste, but I like the way the combo works.
Toss and mix well. You want to make sure that there’s enough liquid (add more vinegar as necessary) to cover the vegetables. Keep it in the fridge for up to a month, the flavor grows the longer it sits. My SO has eaten this kimchi straight from the bowl right after it’s been prepared. More commonly, my SO will add a bunch of this to ramen for spice. I personally love to add kimchi to cold white rice and stir fry it with some eggs.
I actually got into making my own kimchi after I got a hankering to eat some Budae Jjigae. I’d had it a few times back when I lived in Atlanta, GA. In case you’ve never had it, it’s a Korean Army Stew. You can make it as cheap or fancy as you want. Typical ingredients include: spam, hotdogs or sausage, mushrooms, onions, rice cakes. You could do it upscale with some chicken or ground meat. The ramen noodles make a different too! I love these, they don’t get soggy like your typical maruchan ramen.
Any who, that’s it for me today! I wanted to make sure to do a post, but my day was primarily shopping and preparing for Independence Day cooking. (Kimchi was a last minute evening thing.) I’ll also add the link here, for the kimchi recipe that I used as my base since I know I didn’t give ANY amounts for the ingredients. Tell me if you make some, I’d love to hear how it turns out.