This is something stinky but nowhere near the smelliness of stinky tofu. I left a small batch to ferment (for cooking kimchi jigae) for two days and my kitchen smelled as if I did not clear the rubbish bin for a few days hee..hee...
The last time I made kimchi was last year. I have exhausted all my supply but did not make anymore. Then suddenly I craved for kimchi.
During my grocery run, I went to the kimchi section at Aeon.
Aiyo. So expensive, kah?
I settled for the small portions which were more affordable. At that moment I resolved to make my own kimchi again. Don't be lazy!
Making kimchi is not difficult but it is time consuming. Most of that time is taken up by waiting for the salted cabbage to release excess water. So I must choose a day when I am free with no time constraints.
I bought two heads of Napa cabbage, total weight approximately 2.3kg. I also bought one small daikon and a bunch of spring onions.
As time passed by, the cabbage released a lot of water and shrank. At the end of the 2 hours, I rinsed the cabbage and let it stand to drain.
Meanwhile, I made the base for the kimchi paste.
|Tip : Mix the glutinous flour in a small vessel first.|
It is difficult to dissolve if you try to do it directly in the saucepan.
It is simply a mixture of glutinous rice powder, sugar and water. This is boiled until the mixture thickens and becomes like glue. It is then taken off the flame and cooled completely. This mixture is referred to as porridge, so I shall use that terminology.
As you can see, I let the cabbage drain by tilting the colander over a bowl as I feel it makes the drainage more efficient. Every 30 minutes or so, I check the bowl and throw the drained water away. The cabbage is ready when there is minimal water pooled in the bowl.
|The process is clockwise from bottom left|
To make the kimchi paste, the blended onion/garlic/ginger is mixed with the porridge and gochugaru (Korean chili flakes).
Carrot and daikon (which have been cut into matchsticks) and spring onions are added and mixed into the paste. After that the cabbage is added bit by bit and mixed thoroughly. I find this process very therapeutic.
Once everything is mixed in, you get a big tub of deliciousness.
I love to eat kimchi that is freshly made. I prefer it compared to fermented kimchi. So I keep the freshly made kimchi in the fridge and do not allow it to ferment (it will ferment slowly in the fridge). That way I can enjoy fresh (unfermented) kimchi for at least 10-14 days.
Recently I gave in to my blood lust for Korean glasslock containers. Cannot tahan.
My kimchi filled up two 2000ml jars.
To assist in filling up the jars, I used one of my favorite kitchen tools - the canning funnel. It is very useful when filling up bottles with rolled oats, granola, sugar etc.
I can now enjoy my kimchi slowly and if the kimchi is fermented and pungent before I can finish my stock, I can use it to cook my favorite kimchi jigae.
I have been tweaking the recipe and now I can transfer the recipe which I have been scribbling on a used envelope (which is stained with kimchi paste hah..hah...) to this blog.
Perhaps I can come up with a smaller batch recipe so that I don't have to make a whole lot when the craving hits.
Recipe source : Adapted from Maangchi
- 2.5kg Napa cabbage, rinsed and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 small daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 bunch of spring onions, cut into one inch pieces
For kimchi paste :
- 4 tbsp glutinous rice flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 cups water (500ml)
- 1/2 thumb sized ginger
- 16 cloves garlic
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2 cups gochugaru (or less if you prefer less spicy)
- 3/4 cup fish sauce (if vegetarian, use soy sauce and adjust to your own taste)
1. In a large mixing bowl, put a layer of the cut Napa cabbage and sprinkle with salt. Add another layer and repeat until all your cabbage fills up the bowl (if you don't have a large mixing bowl, do it in a few bowls).
2. Every 30 minutes, toss the cabbage using your hands. This ensures even salting. Repeat 4 times.
3. Rinse the salted cabbage about 3 times to remove the salt and drain in a colander.
4. While the cabbage is draining, make the porridge.
5. Put 2 cups of water into a small saucepan.
6. Dissolve the 4 tbsp of glutinous flour in a small bowl first using some of the water that your poured into the saucepan.
7. Then add the dissolved glutinous flour into the saucepan, add sugar and stir.
8. Heat up the saucepan and stir constantly until the liquid comes to a boil and forms a gluey mixture.
9. Take off the heat and allow to cool completely.
10. Meanwhile, blend the ginger, garlic and onion.
11. In a large mixing bowl, pour in the cooled porridge and blended ingredients. Then add gochugaru and fish sauce and stir to mix evenly.
12. Add the cut daikon, carrot and spring onion and mix until well blended.
13. Then add the well drained cabbage bit by bit and mix until all the cabbage is well coated with the paste.
14. Transfer the kimchi into air tight containers and leave the containers at room temperature for 24 hours or 48 hours depending on how sour you want it to be.
15. If you prefer to keep the kimchi fresh for longer, store in the fridge and only ferment the amount that you want to consume.