9/14/10

KIMCHI
 
Dave's Rounded Eye Version Tasty and Delicious
 
Kimchi is good for you! "Eat your kimchi!" our Korean aunty would always say. So make some soon and stop being so sour yourself. It is sour enough! This recipe has been pared down to the essentials; and, even so, there are some optional items in the basic version. Appended are additional ingredients should you want to go really far East.

Ingredients

1 Napa cabbage medium sized / 2-3 lbs
Cut lengthwise into 4-6-8 sections depending on the size of the cabbage. Remove root core, then cut into 2" pieces. Or, Napa cabbage can be cut lengthwise into 6-8 long sections (See optional section).
1 Daikon radish large enough to make you nervous (better, Korean radish if you can find this variety)
Cut into 1/4" thick half or quarter rounds (depending on diameter of whole radish).
2" piece of ginger slivered into fine julienne or made into a paste
1 T fresh garlic slivered or made into a paste (optional, but traditionally a must)
Half cup Kosher salt (for salting the vegetables)
1 Bunch scallions sliced thin on the bias
1/4 Cup sugar
1 1/2 T Kosher salt***
1/4 Cup Korean dried chile pepper flakes
1/4 Cup Korean dried chile pepper powder

***Use Kosher or other non-iodized salt. Iodized salt won’t promote fermentation.

 The dried chile flakes and powder are traditional, but optional and certainly the amounts can be varied according to taste. Very Important: the Korean dried chilies are medium hot. DO NOT use cayenne powder or red pepper flakes. If you go into a Korean market you will see mass quantities of various chile flakes/powders, some in industrial size packages. (I have heard that kimchi is becoming very popular with the Koreans.) Do what I did and ask someone from the store for a recommendation. But don't stop thinking for yourself. Just because they are oriental doesn't mean that they are imbued with the wisdom of the East. Let alone that they know how to make a good kimchi.

Optional Ingredients/Methods:

Half bunch Korean chives cut into 1" lengths.
1/4 cup Mochiko / sweet rice flour cooked into a porridge/sauce with 1 1/2 cups water.
1/2 cup oyster or fish sauce. (Source: Oriental food store) Not the same as Chinese Oyster Sauce.
1-2 T of salted shrimp made into a paste.
The salted shrimp are sold refrigerated at Korean food stores. Problem is that the small jar will be more than you need for a batch or two of kimchi. There are other uses to be sure, but I leave it to you to search for options. Word of caution...very salty.
Slurry Base for Spices:  (Instead of dry salting.) 3 Cups Water Combine with ½ Cup Sugar and ½ Cup Sweet Rice Flour to mix in vegetables and spices/flavorings. (See video to show preparation instructions.)

Preparation

Place the cut cabbage and radish pieces in a large bowl and toss with the salt. Or, cut lengthwise only leaving in 6-8 long sections. Salt between leaves. If using slurry method, spread mixture between each leaf. (See video.)
Let stand to wilt 2-4 hours, or overnight.
Rinse thoroughly.
Combine chile flakes/powder, flour porridge (if using), ginger, garlic, salt, sugar, scallions, chives, shrimp paste (if using) then add to cabbage and radish pieces.
Add small amount salted brine water to cover.
Let stand for 2-3 days in quiet cool place.
Check progress. Bubbles will appear to indicate fermentation.
Place in sterile jars and refrigerate.
Kimchi will continue to sour with time.

For a more traditional recipe treatment:  http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/napa-cabbage-kimchi


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