05 December 2011

Homemade Kimchi

Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean banchan (side dish) made of vegetables with varied seasonings. Usually I get my kimchi from a well known Korean stall at Bukit Timah Plaza.  They homemade the kimchi, it is very nice but is expensive compared to the one selling in the supermarket. It didn't cross my mind to make kimchi until four weeks ago I saw Lena from Frozen Wings made kimchi using cincalok, it was really a good way of clearing my nearly expire fermented shrimp paste (cincalok) since I'm a kimchi lover. I can eat kimchi with plain rice :) I got my gochujang paste from the Korean mini mart near my place and swing into action on 22 Nov and fermented it for 6 days.

I think the cabbage I used was a little small, and too much cooked rice added, it turned out that I have lot of paste at the end of fermentation. I added the paste to cook my noodle and the kimchi soup turned out so delicious! The cabbage tastes crunchy after 6 days of ferment. Thanks to Lena for sharing this recipe!

Recipe adapted from Frozen Wings, original from Elinluv's Tidbits Corner 
Napa Cabbage (700gm, quartered with stem attached, soak in brine)
6 heaped tbsp gochujang paste
1/2 bowl cooked rice (my 1/2 bowl is far too much than Lena's)
1 onion, chopped
1 radish (omitted)
50gm spring onions, cut into lengths
50gm chilli flakes/chilli powder (omitted)
10gm sugar (used 25g)
50gm minced garlic
4 tbsps fermented shrimp paste (cincalok)(used the whole small bottle)
50ml fish sauce

1.Soak the cabbage in soak salt water about 4 hours, weighing the cabbages with with a heavy plate during the soaking process. Remove cabbages from salt water and drain well.

2.Pound the garlic and rice till fine. (I didn't pound, but try to mash them with a masher) Transfer them to a medium size bowl and add in fermented shrimp paste, fish sauce, gichujang paste and chilli powder and mix well. Add in the cut green onions and the rest of the ingredients , mix well and leave to rest for about 1/2 hour.

3. Stuff the cabbage with the mixture, apply them starting from the innermost leaves and making sure every part of leave is covered. Repeat until the entire cabbage is covered well with the mixture as well as possible.

4. Put the kimchi in an airtight container and let it ferment at room temperature for half a day. After than, transfer the container to the fridge (temperature below 20C) and allow to ferment for about 6 days.

*Note: without adding the chilli powder the kimchi still taste spicy because there is chilli in gichujang paste and cincalok.