I've bought about 5 nappa cabbages just for one purpose: homemade kimchi. Since I figured out how to make it, I always have a batch in the fridge. It tastes so good with just plain white rice. Because I don't make it often enough I always have to look up the recipe so I though might as well write down my own version.
The most important part is how to make the spicy marinate or sauce so I'll start with that. I use about:
- 1 big table spoon of Korean chili sauce
- 1 table spoon of sugar
- 1 thumb size piece of ginger
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 anchovies filet
- 3 table spoons or so fish sauce
- 1 table spoon of cooked white rice
I put all the ingredients in a blender en mix it till it's smooth. If it doesn't taste well yet, I adjust the sweetness, saltiness and spiciness. And even add extra garlic or ginger.
Now for the cabbage: it has to be coated in salt or brined first before mixing with the spicy marinate. The first time I brined it in salted water till they were flexible enough to bend without braking. This only took a few hours. This time I just coated them in salt and that took all day. This also depends on how big or small the pieces are.
For 4 jars I used the outer leaves of 4 cabbages, leaving the young inner part separate so I can make soup or just eat it raw in a salad.
I cut the cabbage in quite big "bite" size pieces and also added about 6 small shredded carrots for some color and some spring onions. I sprinkled salt all over and made sure every piece had salt on. Then I let it sit for about a day till the cabbage was flexible enough to bend. I drained the liquid, washed the veggies two times and dried it as much as possible. Then I mixed it with the spicy marinate and put it in several jars. I don't add extra water, because the cabbage will release some.
Now it has to sit on the kitchen counter till it fermented enough. Depending on how warm it is, it can take a couple of days. Every day I will have to open the jar and press the cabbage down so all the air bubbles can come out. After a couple of days I will taste a bit and if it's sour enough I will put the jar in the fridge so I can enjoy it for a couple of weeks.
Imagine eating this with rice!