The Easy 10-Step Kimchi Recipe with Top Quality Ingredients Linked!
You can't leave out kimchi when talking about Korean cuisine! With origins tracing back to as early as 37BC, Koreans have since been perfecting the art of fermentation through all these years. Initially, kimchi wasn’t spicy but with the introduction of chili during the 17th century, kimchi has been reborn as the national dish of Korea that we know today.
Fermentation might be an intimidating cooking undertaking but we guarantee an incredibly fun experience that you can even do with the whole family! Not only is it fun to make, but it’s also incredibly healthy, full of living, healthy good bacteria, or probiotics, that boost immunity, energize the body, and aid digestion.
Borrowing this easy recipe from Feasting at Home, we’ll show you how easy it is to make this Korean staple with premium Korean ingredients from Karman Foods’ galleries. This recipe yields 8 cups of kimchi with spiciness that you can adjust!
- 2 pounds napa cabbage, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces (one large cabbage)
- ¼ cup Chung Jung One Natural Premium Sea Salt for Kimchi
- 2 cups daikon radish, cut into matchstick strips (optional, or use carrots)
- 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, sliced ( 2-3 disks, peels ok)
- 6 cloves garlic, whole
- 1 shallot, quartered (optional)
- 2–6 tablespoons Tae-Kyung Gochugaru Red Pepper Flakes (or Chung Jung One Gochujang - Red Pepper Paste)
- 2 tablespoons Red Boat Fish Sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- A dash of Kikkoman Sesame Oil for serving
SALT THE CABBAGE (6-8 hours)
Reserve 1-2 outer leaves of the napa cabbage and refrigerate for later use. Cut the remaining cabbage and place it in a large bowl with the salt and toss. Add enough cool water to cover the cabbage and stir until salt is dissolved. Keep the cabbage submerged with a plate over the bowl and let it stand at room temperature 6-8 hours (giving a stir midway through if possible) or overnight.
DRAIN THE CABBAGE, SAVE THE BRINE
Rinse the cabbage, drain, squeeze out any excess water, or blot with paper towels, and place it back in the bowl, adding the daikon radish and scallions.
Make the PASTE.
Place the ginger, garlic, shallot, red pepper flakes, fish sauce, and sugar in your food processor. Process until well combined, pulsing, until it becomes a thick paste.
Scoop the paste over the cabbage and using tongs or gloves, mix and massage the vegetables and the red pepper mixture together really well, until well coated.
- PACK the cabbage into a large, two-quart jar or a crock, leaving 1-2 inches room at the top for juices to release. Add a little of the reserved brine to just lightly submerge the vegetables. Place the whole cabbage leaf at the top, pressing down. This should help keep the kimchi submerged under the brine. You can also use a fermentation weight placed over the whole leaf to keep it submerged. Or a small zip lock filled with water. Basically, anything that touches air may mold.
FERMENT ( 3-4 days)
Cover loosely with a lid to allow air to escape and place the jar in a big bowl to collect any juices that may escape. Leave this on somewhere cool or on the counter for 3 days. While on the counter, you can press down on the kimchi daily with the back of a wooden spoon to keep it submerged.
EVENING OF DAY 3
Check for fermentation action or bubbles. Tap the jar and see if tiny bubbles rise to the top. Check for overflow which also indicates fermentation. If you see bubbles, it is ready to store in the refrigerator where it will continue to ferment and develop more flavor slowly. You can also ferment longer, on the counter for more tang. If you don’t see bubbles when tapping the jar, it just may need a couple more days- especially in cooler climates. Be patient.
After you see bubbles, the kimchi is ready, but it won’t achieve its full flavor and complexity, until about 2 weeks of slow fermentation in the fridge. The longer you ferment, the more complex and sour the taste.
This will keep for months on end in the fridge as long as it is submerged in the brine, and will continue to ferment very slowly, getting more and more flavorful. Feel free to remove the cabbage leaf and just press kimchi down under the brine, after each use.
Serve it as a side dish: scoop it out using a slotted spoon, place in a small bowl, drizzle with sesame oil (we recommend Kikkoman’s Sesame Oil!), toasted sesame seeds, and fresh scallions.