Kimchi is a traditional Korean food resulting from lactic fermentation that has hundreds of variations. I have already revealed the 3 secrets to prepare a perfect Kimchi, you just have to try to prepare it at home. Here the challenge is to have the necessary patience because the reward is still a couple of weeks away.
Baechu Kimchi is the most common of all kimchi varieties and the key component that is always found in Korean refrigerators. When you just say “kimchi”, this is the type you mean. Korean families often have their own recipe, which is obviously the best of all.
THE ART OF TASTING
A good kimchi contains the right amount of salt, but to get it right it is important to taste the vegetables after salting. If it is very salty, the vegetable must be rinsed thoroughly. Rinse several times until it tastes too salty. Conversely, if the salt level is right, it is probably not very salty. Adjust by decreasing or increasing the amount of salt you will put in the kimchi dough.
2 kg of Chinese cabbage (or napa cabbage)
200 gr of sea salt
For the Kimchi Paste:
150 grams of Korean chili powder
300 gr of finely chopped leek
3 tablespoons of minced garlic
2 tablespoons of finely grated ginger
200 g daikon (Chinese radish) or fresh radish, chopped
1 tablespoon of fish or soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons of salt
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
1. Cut the Chinese cabbage in half and place the halves, cut side up, in a large bowl. Salt the Chinese cabbage layer by layer (not too meticulously).
2. Pour over the water so that the Chinese cabbage is covered and place a plate with a weight on it so that the vegetable is completely submerged. Leave to rest for 24 hours at room temperature.
3. Drain the water and taste, preferably somewhere in the middle. Rinse the cabbage several times in cold water and carefully squeeze the liquid from the leaves.
4. Mix all the ingredients for the kimchi dough together.
5. Thoroughly mix the Chinese cabbage with the kimchi paste, making sure the cabbage is completely covered with kimchi paste between the leaves.
6. Roll the seasoned Chinese cabbage halves and place them together, without pressing too hard, in a jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid. Leave to rest at room temperature for 24 hours, then transfer to the fridge. The kimchi is ready after 7-10 days and will last for at least 2 months.
Once you’ve made one, you’ll pretty much be able to make any other kimchi recipe. The concept of lactic fermentation is always the same, so the process will be very similar in all varieties of kimchi.