Kimchi is delicious and healthy, but buying it in a shop can be expensive if you can find it at all. Fortunately it is super easy to make.
For this batch i am using Napa cabbages, Carrots, Parsnips, White Onion, the shop had no green ones, garlic, dried chilis, sea salt and ginger.
That is it. All you need.
Wash everything really well, including your fermentation container. I am using a plastic tub I bought at the local Rimi.
Chop up the cabbage into bite size pieces. I discard the outermost leaves. Place them a hand full at a time into a large cooking pot, sprinkle in some salt, repeat until all the cabbage is chopped and in the container that you will use for salting the cabbage.
Then knead the cabbage with your hands to get the salt nicely mixed in with the pieces. Do not push to hard we want to be able to rinse the salt out afterward. Add just a bit of water and find some way to push down on the cabbage and salt. This will draw some of the moisture out of the cabbage leaves. I am not even sure if this is neccesary but it is how i learned to make it. One of these days ill try to make a batch and just lightly salt and rinse the cabbage and see what happens. So anyway… let the cabbage, salt and water mixture sit for about 30 minutes under some weight, i used a plate and a water pitcher to provide some pressure on top of the mixture. I mix it up again at this point and place it back under the weight for at least another 30 minutes, you should notice more water in the container.
While the cabbage is curing in the salt, chop up your other veggies. You will notice that my list of ingredients does not include fish sauce as i prefer to make vegan kimchi and while i enjoy the fish sauce flavor not everyone can share in my delicious creation if i use it. Also the diversity of veggies that can go into a kimchi is large, if it is crunchy and slice-able into bite size chunks you can put it in the Kimchi. Also you will see from the photos that i am using a red curry paste that i bought at the local Rimi. This is because i do not have access to Korean red chili paste. I add the extra peppers for spice. You could certainly use some other pepper source, but the red curry paste works well its just not as spicy as i would like it to be.
Anyway after chopping everything and waiting for a while for the cabbage to sit in the brine, its time to rinse off the cabbage really well, we do not want our kimchi to be to salty, rinse rinse rinse. I fill the container with water and use my hands to mix it about with the cabbage. Pour off the water and repeat, after a couple of rinses you can taste the cabbage to see if it is only a tiny bit salty. If so we are ready mix it all together. I put it all in a big cooking pot and mix it with a big spoon. Once that is done pack it into the fermentation container, pack it down good and tight. It is a good idea to add a little bit of water at this point if there does not seem to be enough liquid in the mix.
Seal it up, stick it on top of the fridge and wait 24 hours. after 24 hours you will likely need to start burping the container, gas will build up inside and you need to let it out otherwise the lid might blow off. If the lid does blow off just clean it up and stick it back on the container. After 5 to 7 days stick it in the fridge.
After a day or so in the fridge i like to transfer the goods to clean sterilized jars. I use old pickle jars, jam jars, what ever you have. just watch them real well, boil water and fill them and the lids and then your ready to fill them with kimchi and share it with your friends.