I have to start off with talking about how excited I was to make this recipe. Kimchi was definitely love at first try for me when I first had it as a young girl. It is a perfect side dish to Korean food and for me the spicier the better.
As some of you may know my Mother in Law is Korean. She was born there and married my hubby’s father and moved to America when she was 19. They are the sweetest and cutest couple and the best “second parents” any girl could be lucky enough to have.
For Christmas she gave me one of the cookbooks I was looking for called “The Kimchi Cookbook” by Lauren Chun. It is a really wonderful book which covers everything from traditional recipes to more modern creations.
Once I got the book we were both looking forward to trying out some of the recipes. We agreed that starting off with a traditional dish would be a great first attempt. It was so much fun to work together on this. It was especially memorable because it was actually a first for both of us to make.
This recipe is time consuming but it was actually pretty straightforward to make. It was a very proud moment indeed when we saw the results and the taste was very good.
Some of the ingredients may seem a bit difficult to get but they can easily be found at any Asian marketplace.
- 2 large heads Nappa Cabbage (roughly 6-7 lbs total) yellow leaves picked and cut lengthwise
- 1 cup Kosher salt (divided into ¾ and ¼ cup)
- Seasoning Paste
- ¼ cup salted shrimp
- ¼ cup anchovy sauce
- ¼ cup Sweet Flour Rice Porridge*
- 3 Tbs minced garlic
- 1 Tbs peeled finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 cup Korean chile pepper flakes
- 1½ lb Daikon Radish (1 medium) julienned into 3in strips
- ½ cup water
- Food handling gloves
- 2 wide mouth glass containers
- Sprinkle ¼ cup of the salt onto the cabbage halves – all along the core, outer base and between each leaves
- Stack cabbage halves on top of one another in a large bowl or stockpot
- Allow to dry brine for ½ hour
- Fill the bowl with just enough water to cover the cabbage
- Add the remaining salt and stir to dissolve
- Taste test the water – it should taste like the sea
- Brine for 8-10 hours with a heavy plate on top to keep submerged
- Turn cabbage halfway through brining – it will wilt, sink and shrink
- If after the 10 hour brine the leave are still firm allow to brine for another hour and check again
- When done lift out cabbage and drain
- Fill another large bowl with fresh water and rinse cabbage by shaking in the water
- Shake out the cabbage and allow to drain (cut side down) in a strainer for at least 40 minutes
- While it drains make the seasoning paste
- In a small food processor, pulse together shrimp, anchovy sauce, porridge, garlic, ginger and sugar until smooth
- Move to a large bowl and add the chile pepper flakes and radish – let sit 15 mins
- Put on food handling gloves
- Take the cabbage halves and spread generously all over the leaves core and between each leaf (work from outer leaves to inner ones)
- Spread stuffing around and then fold cabbage over the cut side
- Place the halves into the wide mouth glass container(s)
- Stuff as tightly as possible
- add water to any remaining seasoning and pour evenly between two containers
- Cover tightly
- Let sit room temp for 4-5 days, refrigerate and consume within one year (I put in fridge same day)
1 Cup cold water
2 Tbs Rice Flour
1. Prepare an ice bath In a small saucepan bring ¾ cup water to boil.
2. Dissolve rice flour in remaining ¼ cup water.
3. Add flour mixture to water and mix for 15-30 seconds till it resembles a glue.
4. Put pan in ice bath till cool.
5. Mix after cooled to bring back to room temp.
*This can be made ahead and kept in fridge