Picturecourtesy of koreafoodgallery.com
Kimchi is considered to be Korea's national dish. 
It's hard to find a Korean table that doesn't have kimchi! 

What is it, you ask? 
Kimchi is a refreshing side dish made of fermented napa cabbage. It usually has a bright red color to it because of the red pepper flakes it is seasoned with! Kimchi is also a source of great pride to many native Koreans because not only is it a tasty side dish to go with your meal, it is very healthy. It is high in antioxidants, known to help prevent cancer, vitamin B, carotene, and so much more essential nutrients. Because it is a fermented food, kimchi contains tons of enzymes and probiotics that are beneficial to our bodies. 

There are so many different types of kimchi, I probably couldn't even name them all. But to name a few, there are cucumber kimchi, radish kimchi, bok choy kimchi, green onion kimchi, and many many more. This popular side dish is used in many Korean dishes today, such as kimchi fried rice and kimchi jjigae, a stew consisting of kimchi and pork. 

This is recipe of the traditional kind of kimchi, courtesy of Maangchi of youtube. Enjoy!

Ingredients are as follows: 
  • napa cabbage, 10 lbs
  • salt
  • sweet rice flour
  • sugar
  • water
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • onion
  • fish sauce
  • squid
  • red pepper flakes
  • leek 
  • green onions
  • carrot
  • radish
  1. Trim the discolored outer leaves of 10 pounds of napa cabbage.
  2. Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Chop it up into bite size pieces.
  3. Soak the pieces of cabbage in cold water and put the soaked cabbage into a large basin. Sprinkle salt.
    *tip: 1 cup of salt will be used for 10 pounds of napa cabbage
  4. Every 30 minutes, turn the cabbage over to salt evenly (total salting time will be 1½ hours).
  5. 1½ hours later, rinse the cabbage in cold water 3 times to clean it thoroughly.
  6. Drain the cabbage and set aside.
  7. Make porridge:
    1. Put 3 cups of water and ½ cup sweet rice flour (chapssal garu) in a pot and mix it well and bring to a boil. Keep stirring until the porridge makes bubbles (about 5 minutes).
    2. Add ¼ cup sugar. Stir and cook for a few more mintues until it’s translucent.
    3. Cool it down.
    4. Make kimchi paste:
      1. Place the cold porridge into a large bowl. Now you will add all your ingredients one by one.
      2. Add 1 cup of fish sauce, 2.5 cups of hot pepper flakes (depending on your taste), 1 cup of crushed garlic, 1-2 tbs of minced ginger, 1 cup amount of minced onion.
        *tip: much easier to use a food processor.
      3. Wash and drain the salty squid. Chop it up and add it to the kimchi paste.
      4. Add 10 diagonally-sliced green onions, 2 cups amount of chopped leek, 2 cups of julienned Korean radish, and ¼ cup of julienned carrot.
      5. Mix all ingredients well and your kimchi paste is done.
      6. Action! Mix the cabbage with the kimchi paste!
        1. Put the kimchi paste in a large basin and add all the cabbage. Mix it by hand.
          *tip: If your basin is not large enough to mix all the ingredients at once, do it bit by bit.
        2. Put the kimchi into an air-tight sealed plastic container or glass jar.
        3. You can eat it fresh right after making or wait until it’s fermented.
Watch and follow Maangchi making kimchi! 

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    I'm not a professional chef, just a hungry college student who loves to cook Korean food. Learn and cook with me!


    July 2013