It's really easy to follow this Fermented Korean Kimchi Recipe, and your health will thank you. When I was young I felt invincible, eating whatever I liked, usually. As I grew older and maybe wiser and couldn't keep up with the twenty-somethings anymore, my interest in health miraculously came alive. So how can I combine my love of cooking with the added benefits of probiotics and natural health?
A Korean Kimchi recipe. I love spicy foods and Asian foods, so this is a marriage made in heaven for me! Koreans have eaten Kimchee for over a thousand years, and annually eat over 40 pounds per person! Lucky for me, it's not hard to make, lasts a long time, and I believe will improve my health and boost my immune system. The best part is because I made it, I know exactly what went into it. And it makes a delicious Kimchi Fried Rice recipe.
Kimchi Recipe with Gochujang Paste
Traditionally Kimchi is made by covering the whole pieces of napa cabbage with the spicy Gochujang paste, or Gochugaru (red pepper flakes). Either spice will work, I use the paste. I prefer to chop the cabbage into small manageable pieces. This doesn't impact the fermentation in any way, it's just easier to use as a condiment. You can find Gochujang at any Asian grocer. More and more supermarkets are carrying it in stock now.
In my pantry I had a 1 kg bag of Himalayan Salt, and that is perfectly acceptable to use instead of regular salt. As I always say, use what you've got! If sodium levels are a concern in your diet, use kosher salt, as it has a lower milligram amount of sodium vs regular salt. I think there's no escaping the salt required in this recipe.
Kimchi Recipe with Apple
I love this recipe because it doesn't add sugar or honey like some recipes, but naturally adds sweetness with a grated apple. (You could substitute grated pear or nashi pear instead). That's the secret to an authentic Kimchee. I used a lot of carrots in this recipe, as the carrots I bought were some giant carrots, so I used them all as I don't like wastage. The photos are very carrot heavy, in hindsight, I should have used less carrot due to the physical size of the carrots.
So what do I do with all this Kimchi? I love adding my Korean Kimchi recipe to my chicken burgers, or you can just eat it as a side with your meal. Plus it makes a killer Kimchi Fried Rice which tastes amazing.
Korean Kimchi Recipe + Video
- 1 large Napa Cabbage or 2 smaller Napa cabbages
- 4 carrots grated
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 1 knob of ginger, grated approx 75 grams (2.5oz)
- 1 cup garlic chives (optional) chopped
- 4 spring onions chopped
- 1 small daikon cut in 2 inch match sticks
- ¼ - ⅓ cup Gochujang paste or Korean red pepper powder*
- 1 apple peeled, cored, and grated
- 2 tablespoons of fish sauce or soy sauce
- ¼ cup sea salt
- Remove the cabbage leaves individually, and cut the cabbage leaves into 2 inch pieces, and put into a large bowl.
- Put ¼ cup of salt into a small bowl of warm water and stir until dissolved. Add the salt water to the bowl of cabbage leaves and mix it up using your hands, ensuring each piece gets a good covering of salty water.
- Leave the cabbage in the bowl at room temperature for 3-4 hours. The salt will start to draw out the water from the cabbage. You will see a brine in the bottom of the bowl.
- Strain the cabbage through a colander. Some people quickly rinse it once or twice with water, but not necessary. Put your cabbage back into the bowl.
- Add the grated carrot, match stick daikon, crushed garlic, grated ginger, garlic chives, grated apple and mix together.
- Measure ⅓ cup of Gochujang and 2 tablespoons of fish sauce OR soy sauce, and vigorously mix thoroughly until completely covered. I suggest wearing disposable gloves, so the peppers don't burn.
- Pack Kimchi tightly into glass jars, leaving a few inches from the top. Close lid and allow to sit in a cool dark place for at least 48 hours (longer to increase sourness). Periodically open up the jars to release the pressure that builds up. Bubbles will likely appear, this is normal. When its ready, place in the fridge, where it should last 2 months or more.