A delicious kimchi recipe for the wildly popular Korean fermented cabbage pickle, this is vegan, gluten free, dairy free and amazingly simple to make.
1 Napa cabbage (wombok/wong bok/Chinese leaf/asian cabbage) quartered lengthways and sliced into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup salt
12 cups water
2 tablespoons Korean pepper powder*
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped dried porcini mushroom
1 tablespoon chopped nori (dried seaweed)
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
1 cup grated/ribboned white radish
2 chopped spring onions (whites and greens)
Place chopped cabbage, water and salt in a super large bowl. Press down on the cabbage to make sure it is submerged under the salted water. Cover with cling wrap (put some weight on top if you have to). Soak overnight or at least 8 hours.
Prepare all the other ingredients and place them in a small bowl. Unwrap the cabbage bowl and drain all the water. Remove the cabbage into separate super large bowl. Add the spice and radish mix to the cabbage and mix gently with your hands until the cabbage is thoroughly coated with the spices.
Spoon the cabbage mix and any liquid that has accumulated in a large 5 litre glass jar with a tight lid. (I used a 5 litre Fido jar with a flip top suction lid). Secure the lid tightly and place the jar in a quiet corner of your kitchen. Within the first half an hour, you will notice the cabbage settling down as it sweats and more liquid is released. An hour later, the level of the cabbage would have sunk further. Leave the jar to rest undisturbed in this spot for 48 hours. During this time, you will notice that the empty space in the jar is starting to get cloudy. This is the beautiful fermentation gases brewing and working their magic to create a tart kimchi.
After the 48 hours have passed, your kimchi is ready to eat. If you desire a stronger tasting kimchi, rest the jar for another day or two. Once you are satisfied with the taste, spoon the kimchi in all it’s glory into a large 3 litre jar or three 1 litre jars and store in the fridge for up to 3 or 4 weeks.
* Korean pepper powder also known as Kochugaru or Gochugaru is a specialty spice mix that can be sourced from your local Asian supermarket. It is a mix often made up of coarsely ground Korean red pepper and salt. Before I managed to find one (quite easily!) at my local Asian supermarket, I asked around on Instagram for the closest and best substitute for it. Based on the suggestions and my own findings, I have deemed this to be the best substitute for Korean Pepper Powder if you want to make kimchi. version1 – 3 tablespoons red chilli flakes, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon salt. version2 – 1/4 cup dried ancho chillies, 1 teaspoon salt.
Depending on the version you are using, grind ingredients in a mortar and pestle till you have a coarse powder mix. Use as required.