Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 72 hours
Total Time: 72 hours, 30 minutes
- 2 Napa cabbages
- 2 gallons water
- 1 cup sea salt
- 2 small heads of garlic, finely minced
- 1 4-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 cup Korean chili powder or 2/3 cup chili paste
- 2 tsp sugar or honey
- 5 scallions, cut into 1 inch lengths
- 2 medium daikon radishes, peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup fish sauce
Slice the cabbages lengthwise in half, then slice each half lengthwise into 3 sections. Cut away the tough parts of the stem. You may also chop the cabbage into pieces roughly two inches square if you prefer.
Dissolve the salt into the water in a large container. Submerge the cabbage, placing a plate on top to keep it under, and let stand for five or six hours.
Combine the garlic, ginger, chili powder, honey, scallions, radishes and fish sauce in a very large metal or glass (preferable) bowl.
Drain the cabbage, rinse it well in cold water, and squeeze it dry.
Mix the cabbage into the bowl and coat it well with the seasoning mixture - you may want to wear gloves to avoid staining your hands with the chili powder.
Pack the kimchi mixture into wide mouth glass mason jars. Cover tightly - use canning jar bands and lids. Let stand at room temperature (cool) for one to two days.
After one to two days, check the kimchi. When it begins to bubble, it's ready to be refrigerated. Let it stand another day or two if it isn't bubbling when you first check it.
Eat within three weeks or it might get too intensely fermented. Store in the refrigerator.
Kimchi is great to eat with white rice and can be used as a condiment or side dish for many Asian dishes. A sprinkling of sesame seeds before serving is really nice.
Your artisanal small farm kimchi will have added appeal with buyers if it reflects in-season vegetables and additions that grow well in your region. You will probably want to offer both a spicy and a mild version.
Some Korean kimchis contain fresh fish and oysters. You could omit the cabbage and use all daikon radish, a version called kkakdugi kimchi (daikon pickle). Cucumber, beetroot, burdock and radishes are all popular additions. But if someone can make nettles kimchi, the possibilities really are endless! In Korea, hundreds of variations on the basic kimchi are made. Enjoy experimenting and coming up with your own unique twist on this classic dish.