Fermentation basics: How to make kimchi (two ways)

John Kopischke
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How to make traditional kimchi

1 head (2-3 lbs or 1-1.5 kg) napa cabbage or Chinese (pe-tsai) cabbage

1 large carrot, peeled.

1 daikon (moo) radish or 15 oz (428 g) white radish, peeled.

5 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) lengths

Delicious Toppings (Optional)

1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted until golden.

1 teaspoon dried laver seaweed, toasted until crisp.

Ingredients for traditional kimchi:

6 heads Napa cabbage (young green leaves and firm white stems), 1/2 a cup of red hot pepper flakes, 1/2 a cup of kosher salt, 1 1/2 tbsp shrimp paste, 5 tbsp fish sauce, 5 tbsp sugar, 8 cloves of garlic, 1/4 an inch of ginger, 4 green onions, 4 tbsp zucchini (optional), and 3 cup of anchovy stock.

Kimchi, a Korean staple, is sometimes referred to as the national dish!

This fermented vegetable side dish originated in Korea over 2000 years ago. It is considered a staple in most Korean households, but many Koreans also enjoy it as a condiment on ramen, fried rice, or on a roast beef sandwich.

It’s always a treat to come to my Korean home and eat family-style with large plates of pickled fish, kimchi, and a bowl of rice. To some, it might be an acquired taste, and I completely understand if you are among these people!

In addition to the fish, there are lots of garlic, fermented cabbage, red pepper powder, green onion, Korean pepper, and various other tasty things to pop in your mouth, but before you grab a roll of paper towels and start eating, be aware: Kimchi is an acquired taste, and those who have acquired it don’t tend to give it up any time soon.

There are two ways to make kimchi: the modern method and the traditional method, both of which will make healthy and delicious kimchi, but each one will make different flavors and textures.

The following are what you will need for the traditional method:

Weight ratio

1:2:3

Kimchi directions:

Servings: 1 quart

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage
  • 1/2 head small firm Chinese cabbage
  • 1/2 cup salt OR 1 tbs kosher salt
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 inches daikon radish
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 cup radish sprouts
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 2 tbs water

Steps:

Chop the cabbage into very large pieces. Put 1/2 cup salt or 1 tbs kosher salt into a mixing bowl and add the chopped cabbage. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Using your hands, shred the cabbage into a 2-inch thick layer. If the salt has not fully penetrated the cabbage, repeat step 2. Rinse the shredded cabbage very well under cold running water. Squeeze out the excess water from the cabbage.

Clean the carrots, daikon, and garlic.

Chop the carrot into 1/2-inch pieces, cut each daikon piece into 4-inch slices, and mince the garlic.

Chop garlic and green onion into 1/4-inch pieces and cut radish sprouts and bean sprouts in half.

Kimchi, a Korean staple, is sometimes referred to as the national dish!

This fermented vegetable side dish originated in Korea over 2000 years ago. It is considered a staple in most Korean households, but many Koreans also enjoy it as a condiment on ramen, fried rice, or on a roast beef sandwich.

It’s always a treat to come to my Korean home and eat family-style with large plates of pickled fish, kimchi, and a bowl of rice. To some, it might be an acquired taste, and I completely understand if you are among these people!

In addition to the fish, there are lots of garlic, fermented cabbage, red pepper powder, green onion, Korean pepper, and various other tasty things to pop in your mouth, but before you grab a roll of paper towels and start eating, be aware: Kimchi is an acquired taste, and those who have acquired it don’t tend to give it up any time soon.

There are two ways to make kimchi: the modern method and the traditional method, both of which will make healthy and delicious kimchi, but each one will make different flavors and textures.

The following are what you will need for the traditional method:

Weight ratio

1:2:3

How to make radish kimchi

Kimchi is a popular side dish in Korea. Traditionally it was fermented for years in a paddy field, buried in the just-right brine, then unearthed to be enjoyed. It helps to maintain the natural nutrients in the food and cuts down on food spoilage during the winter.

It also adds a boost to the immune system which is important for anyone and for pregnant women in particular.

Kimchi is eaten in a variety of different ways. In a side-dish form it’s usually served with rice.

4 Cups of Water

2 cups of radish, shredded.

2 cups of carrot, sliced thin.

2 cups of cabbage, shredded.

2 cups of onion, sliced thin.

2 cups of roma tomatoes, chopped.

2 cloves of garlic, minced.

2 tablespoons of ginger, minced.

METHOD

Mix the salt and 2 cups of water to dissolve the salt.

Add the vegetables, mix, and leave for 10 minutes.

Put the veggies in a big bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients.

Mix and serve chilled.

Ingredients for radish kimchi:

1 handful each of:

2 tbs. of dry white wine

A Few Spoonfuls of Prepared Kimchi Sauce

1 tbs. of fish sauce

1 tbs. of fish concentrate (optional)

1/2 White Radish

5 tbs. of ginger

1 Dried Chili Pepper

1 tbs. of salted shrimp

1 Handful of Green Onions

2 tbs. of fish sauce

1 tbs. of sugar

Kimchi, a Korean staple, is sometimes referred to as the national dish!

This fermented vegetable side dish originated in Korea over 2000 years ago. It is considered a staple in most Korean households, but many Koreans also enjoy it as a condiment on ramen, fried rice, or on a roast beef sandwich.

It’s always a treat to come to my Korean home and eat family-style with large plates of pickled fish, kimchi, and a bowl of rice. To some, it might be an acquired taste, and I completely understand if you are among these people!

In addition to the fish, there are lots of garlic, fermented cabbage, red pepper powder, green onion, Korean pepper, and various other tasty things to pop in your mouth, but before you grab a roll of paper towels and start eating, be aware: Kimchi is an acquired taste, and those who have acquired it don’t tend to give it up any time soon.

There are two ways to make kimchi: the modern method and the traditional method, both of which will make healthy and delicious kimchi, but each one will make different flavors and textures.

The following are what you will need for the traditional method:

Weight ratio

1:2:3

Radish kimchi directions:

Kimchi’s fermentation depends on people providing special conditions. This includes making sure it stays at a certain temperature range for the right time period.

In the fermenting process, the lactic acid bacteria produce beneficial probiotics. The temperature and time are necessary to get these bacteria to grow and thrive. Maintaining an environment with the right temperature allows them to do their job and make lactic acid, which is what gives it its tangy taste.

Kimchi can be made in crock pots or in actual clay pots. The taste will not be noticeably different, but the consistency of the paste (the result of the fermentation) may be different.

Kimchi, a Korean staple, is sometimes referred to as the national dish!

This fermented vegetable side dish originated in Korea over 2000 years ago. It is considered a staple in most Korean households, but many Koreans also enjoy it as a condiment on ramen, fried rice, or on a roast beef sandwich.

It’s always a treat to come to my Korean home and eat family-style with large plates of pickled fish, kimchi, and a bowl of rice. To some, it might be an acquired taste, and I completely understand if you are among these people!

In addition to the fish, there are lots of garlic, fermented cabbage, red pepper powder, green onion, Korean pepper, and various other tasty things to pop in your mouth, but before you grab a roll of paper towels and start eating, be aware: Kimchi is an acquired taste, and those who have acquired it don’t tend to give it up any time soon.

There are two ways to make kimchi: the modern method and the traditional method, both of which will make healthy and delicious kimchi, but each one will make different flavors and textures.

The following are what you will need for the traditional method:

Weight ratio

1:2:3