Spicy Kimchi

By: Esther Vasa


Vegetables for Kimchi
Kimchi all ready for fermenting
  • Napa Cabbage - 1 head (about 3 pounds - cut into bite sized pieces)
  • Carrots - 2 (cut into matchsticks)
  • Daikon Radish - 1 (cut into matchsticks)
  • Green Onions - 1 bunch (cut diagonally)
  • Nori Wraps (this is optional) - 3 (randomly torn into pieces)
  • Sea Salt or Kosher Salt or any non-iodized salt (about 4 tbsp)
Salad Dressing
  • Gochugaru or Korean Chilli Powder - 2 tbsp (adjust to your taste and liking)
  • Four large garlic cloves and an inch piece of ginger - Crush them together in a mortar and pestle
  • Rice Flour - 1/4th cup
  • Brown Sugar - about 2-3 tbsp
  • Non-chlorinated Water - about two liters
  1. Put the napa cabbage bits in a clean bowl. Salt generously. Cover the salted napa cabbage bits with ample water. Takes nearly four cups of water. Rest it for about two hours.
  2. In a saucepan put the rice flour and add two cups of water and mix it well. Then, cook this on low heat while constantly stirring. It takes about 5 minutes to make it into congee or porridge consistency. You can add extra water if you think the congee is too thick. It depends on the type of rice flour you used. Add brown sugar, mix well and switch off the stove and cool the congee.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix carrots, daikon radish, green onions, nori bits, crushed ginger and garlic, and gochugaru and set aside. Gochugaru is not that spicy and it actually has fruity flavor. I use a bit more of gochugaru in my kimchi. Adjust to your liking.
  4. Add cold congee into the vegetable mix we prepared in step 3. Mix well.
  5. Drain the soaking napa cabbage. Rinse and drain at least three times. This sort of clears out excess salt and also softens the cabbage.
  6. Add the cabbage to the mixture in step 4. Slip in clean gloves and thoroughly combine the cabbage and vegetable mixture.
  7. Transfer the fresh kimchi into a mason jar large enough to fit in the kimchi. If it requires two mason jars, use them. Press the vegetables down firmly, clean the rim and close it and leave it in a warm dark place for about 48 hours. Make sure you burp it every 12 hours or so. I don't mind eating the fresh kimchi right away. But, it tastes very well after it gets fermented. 
  8. You can eat kimchi with rice or flat bread or any bread. This is nice flavorful and quite rich in probiotics. Helps in the detox process as well.

PS: For other kimchi ideas please follow Maangchi. You can make kimchi without using the rice flour congee. Maangchi calls it "Emergency Kimchi".