Kimchi…from the Test Kitchen

I promised when I did the blog on Sauerkraut that I would do a blog on Kimchi. It has been an interesting experience. I made it using a basic recipe I found that was easy to follow. After a few of my own adjustments….here it is.

Image result for free pics of kimchiKIMCHI – Ingredients
1 Medium Napa cabbage (approx. 2 lbs.)
1/4 cup Sea Salt
1 regular size Fuji or other sweet apple. chopped
1/2 small white onion, chopped
1 1/2 cloves garlic or can substitute prepared chopped garlic – 1-2 tsp.
1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated;
3 Tbsp chili powder or a combo of 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper and 1 Tbsp paprika
3-4 green onions sliced into 1 inch pieces to include the green tops

Quarter the cabbage and cut or chop it into 2 inch pieces. Place cabbage in a large bowl. Combine 2 cups luke warm water with the salt – stir until dissolved. Pour this mixture over the cabbage and add the remaining 4 cups water; stir to mix. Be sure the cabbage is submerged in the water and not floating. I placed a plate that fit into the bowl on top of the cabbage and then weighted it down. Let it sit on the kitchen counter (away from a window) for about 2 hours and/or as long as 12 hours. Stir now and then during those hours. I let it sit 4 hours. This wilts the cabbage.

Because of the hours you wait I do this step just before the cabbage is ready. MAKE A PASTE of the Chile pepper or cayenne & paprika combo by mixing it with a small amount of water. Add the apple, white onion, ginger and garlic, put in a blender and blend all together until smooth. (Note: if too stiff, add water a little at a time until smooth)

When the cabbage is ready, reserve a 1/2 cup of the water (brine), and drain the rest off. Rinse the cabbage well with clean water (I used purified) and drain the water off. Place the cabbage back in the bowl, add the paste mixture and the green onions. Mix well with a wooden spoon until all the cabbage is coated.

This mixture made enough to fill 1 large wide mouth glass mason jar. Pack the cabbage mix down into the jar as tight as you can to release any air bubbles. Add enough of the brine water you saved to cover the veggies, leaving about an inch at the top for the gases and air to release. Cover with the lid. Place the bottle in a cool dark place. I put mine in a bottom cupboard in my kitchen on the bottom shelf. Leave for 24 to 36 hours or more. At 24 hours open the bottle to check the Kimchi and pack it down with a spoon. The cabbage will have shrunk and the liquid increased…you will see it bubbling. This is normal as the fermenting process has begun, and the flavor is developing. At 36 hours taste your Kimchi. If you like the taste put it in the refrigerator. If not let it ferment longer and keep tasting it until you like the taste – then refrigerate it.  In the refrigerator it will be good for a maximum period of 2 months. 

NOTE: I read in my research, that the weather can also play a role as to how slow or fast your mixture will ferment. High temperatures speed up the fermentation while cool temperatures slows it down.

It is supposed to be tangy, spicy and slightly sweet. Was it? I didn’t taste the apple for sweetness – which I would have liked to taste. I also did not like the Chile (hot) flavor for spicy.

MY CONCLUSION:Image result for free pics of kimchi It is really an experimental trial until you get it the way you like it. I will make it again and put in more apples or replace the apples with organic pure cane sugar, raw sugar, coconut sugar (as long as it is pure sugar). I will probably leave out the chili or cayenne/paprika combo entirely, reduce the amount used, or I will add radishes to replace the chili for a spicy taste.

I mixed it with tuna fish, added organic mayo, lemon juice and hard-boiled eggs (chopped). It was good as a sandwich or to eat just as a salad with crackers. Can also be served over rice or oriental noodles, put in soup, or serve just as a side dish condiment. Be creative!

SO…if you try this recipe – don’t be afraid to experiment. Find YOUR flavor choice and then remember what you did to get it there. It is worth the experimentation.





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