For salting the cabbage
- 1.5kg chinese cabbage (wombok)
- ¼ cup salt, extra for soaking
For the paste
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons glutinous rice flour
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ cup fish sauce
- ¼ cup fermented salted shrimp (optional)
- 2 cups korean hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 30g ginger, peeled and sliced
- 1 whole brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped
For the vegetables
- 1 radish, peeled and julienned
- 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
- ½ bunch of spring onions (thinly sliced)
Prepare and salt the cabbage. To split a cabbage in half, first cut a short slit in the base of the cabbage, enough to get a grip on either half, and then gently pull the halves apart so the cabbage splits open.
Cut a slit through the core of each half, 2 inches above the stem. You want the cabbage leaves to be loose but still attached to the core.
Dunk the halves in a large bowl of salted water to get them wet. Let the cabbages rest for at least an hour turning over halfway so they get well salted. After an hour, wash the cabbage halves a few times under cold running water to remove any excess salt.
To make the paste, combine the water and glutinous rice flour in a small pot and mix with a wooden spoon. Cook for 5 minutes until it starts to bubble. Add in the sugar, fish sauce and fermented shrimp. Set aside and allow to cool.
In a food processor, mince the garlic, ginger and onion into a smooth paste. Set aside. Prepare your other vegetables in the meantime.
When the cabbage is ready, you can mix everything together. Start by mixing the paste together in a large and deep tray. Add in the chopped vegetables and mix well to combine with the paste. Place the cabbage on top and sprinkle salt between the leaves by lifting up every leaf and getting salt in there. Use more salt closer to the stems, where the leaves are thicker.
Spread some kimchi paste on each cabbage leaf. When every leaf in a quarter is covered with paste, wrap it around itself into a small packet, and put into your jar.
The kimchi will start fermenting a day or two at room temperature, depending on the temperature and humidity of your room. The warmer and more humid it is, the faster the kimchi will ferment. Once it starts to ferment it will smell and taste sour, and pressing on the top of the kimchi with a spoon will release bubbles from beneath.
Once it starts to ferment, store in the refrigerator to use as needed. This slows down the fermentation process, which will make the kimchi more and more sour as time goes on.
Makes approx. 2 kg of Kimchi
Prep time: 1.5 hours
Fermentation time: 1-2 days
Recipe by Diana Chan