Man, I like kimchi. I've long wanted to make it in a way that's tasty and easy. I think I've hit on it here. Sure, this isn't "authentic." The "real thing" means brushing each leaf of an intact napa cabbage with red pepper paste, but that also means you'll have to wear gloves. To see what I mean, watch this primer on kimchi:
A pair of kimchi gloves was a deal breaker for me so I did the next logical thing: cut up the cabbage. Then I used a spatula. Easy peasy. Since I was already being sacrilegious, I decided to use savoy cabbage because it has a little more body. Obviously you can use napa if that's your thing.
Finally, it's worth noting that Korean red pepper powder is not the same thing as red pepper flakes, which are bigger in size. If you're going to make kimchi, then you should really try the secure the right thing. If you live somewhere without Koreans and thus without a Korean grocer, then you really should consider moving. If that's not an option, then get it from Amazon:
Okay, one more thing. Since you're going through the trouble--err, joy--of making kimchi cabbage, why not double the sauce component (everything but the cabbage and salt) and make kimchi cucumbers, radishes, and anything else that strikes your fancy. That way you also have extra sauce should you like your kimchi extra saucy.
- 1 large savoy cabbage (about 2 lbs)
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tbsp Mochiko (sweet rice flour)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 white onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1/2" ginger (1 tbsp minced)
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp Korean red pepper powder
- 5 green onions
- 1 carrot (optional)
- 2" daikon (optional)
Cut cabbage into kimchi-sized pieces, discarding the stem. Toss well with salt and let sit in a colander set over a bowl for drainage. Wait 2 hours.
Heat water, Mochiko, and sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly until it becomes a thick pudding-like paste. Remove from heat and add to a bowl that's large enough to eventually hold all the ingredients.
Using a food processor, finely mince the onion, garlic, and ginger. Add to bowl, along with fish sauce and red pepper powder.
Slice the green onions. Julienne the carrot and daikon. All all three to the bowl.
Rinse the cabbage a couple times and drain. Give it a good spin in a salad spinner. Add cabbage to bowl and mix well.
Refrigerate for few hours for the flavors to sink in (but you can eat it right away if you can't wait).