Make Delicious Homemade Kimchi
Kimchi sounds so exotic, doesn’t it? I never dreamed I could make it at home. But in this post, Monica convinces me that I can. If you love food with a kick, try this kimchi recipe. It’s fast, easy, and delicious.
Posted by Monica
Kimchi is one of the most commonly known fermented foods. It’s a staple in traditional Korean cuisine, made with napa cabbage, daikon radishes and salt. My first taste was accidental at a local Korean restaurant, mixed into a spicy stir fry dish. I ultimately asked the waiter what the tangy pink vegetable was because it hit me by surprise. Before that day, I had never known that kimchi existed or what fermented foods were altogether!
Fast forward eight years and I’m now making kimchi at home. Here’s a recipe inspired by authentic Korean kimchi without the fermented shrimp or fish sauce. I personally do not like a strong fishy seafood taste, so I chose a bit of red miso paste—a fermented soy bean paste—to complement the bold flavor of kimchi.
How to Make Homemade Kimchi
- Wide-mouthed quart Mason jar
- Fermentools kit for each jar
- 1 large Napa cabbage, cored and cut into 2-inch wide pieces
- 1 cup Daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 4 green onions, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 two-inch knob of ginger, peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup gochujang Korean chili sauce*
- 1 Tb red miso paste**
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 Tb pink Himalayan salt
- Prepare cabbage, radishes, and green onions as directed above.
- Place all vegetables in a large bowl and evenly sprinkle the Himalayan salt over them. Press down on the cabbage to help draw out the water like you would with sauerkraut or simply wait 30 minutes.
- Mix in the garlic, ginger, Korean chili sauce, miso paste, and sugar. Stir well.
- Fill your Mason jar with the kimchi mixture. Feel free to add a little extra brine as needed.
- Place the glass fermentation weight on top of the mixture to keep the kimchi below the liquid. Screw on your lid and set up the air lock system.
- Allow the kimchi to ferment at least one week before moving it to the refrigerator.
Recipe Notes & Substitutions:
* Most kimchi recipes call for Korean red chili pepper, which is the main ingredient in the gochujang Korean chili sauce. If you’re using the fish sauce or extra water, you can switch out the gocuhjang Korean chili sauce with regular Korean red chili powder too. I am only able to find the sauce version at my local store, but it is widely available online. You can reduce the amount to 1/3 cup if you need to tone down the level of spiciness a notch. Also, do not use regular chili powder.
** If you want a more authentic Korean kimchi, you can substitute the red miso paste for 2Tb of fish sauce and/or 2Tb of fermented Korean shrimp. Don’t add all three because it will be too salty.
The use of a glass weight prevents mold from growing in your ferment by keeping all food particles submerged under the brine. A Fermentools kit includes a fermentation lid to fit a Mason jar, made to last a lifetime from surgical steel, glass weight, rubber gasket, and airlock. Get yours by visiting the Fermentools store.
Monica lives in rural Michigan on a small hobby farm with her husband, two children, seven mixed breed chickens, three silkies, three cats, two shetland sheep, and one dog. Her family is constantly pursuing a path towards compassion and healthy living. She blogs at Mommyandlove.com on all things motherhood, nature and vegetarianism.