Beside pickled mustard cabbage, Korean kimchee is also one of my favourite side dishes. Other than the crunchy texture and acidic taste, kimchee has a spiciness that is really fitting for this cold weather, and of course besides eating kimchee with rice or bbq you can also use it to make other dishes such as kimchee tofu soup, hotpot, etc, just thinking of all those dishes make my mouth waters already. Making kimchee is not difficult at all, the ingredients are a bit more complicated and it’s quite time-consuming, bit the method is really simple and of course the result is super tasty.
There are two ways to make kimchee: the traditional method where you pickle the whole napa cabbage leaves, and the modern method (called mak-kimchi) where you chop the leaves into bite-size pieces. The traditional method has the advantage of longer storage, but personally I found that the modern method takes less time and is also more suitable for students and people who don’t have much time. I learnt this method from my friend whose mother is a Korean, and he also lived in Korea for a while when he was small. I only changed the ingredients measure a bit according to my taste and what I have in my pantry.
Công thức tiếng Việt: Cách làm Kimchi nhanh và đơn giản (Mak Kimchi)
A. Chili sauce/Kimchee sauce
- 1 apple
- ½ Asian pear/sand pear/Nashi pear
- 1 onion
- 1 stalk of leek
- 10-13 cloves of garlic
- A 3-4cm piece of ginger
- 120g Korean chili powder
- 100ml fish sauce
- 110g sugar
- 50g kosher salt
- ½ white radish (daikon)
- 1-2 carrot (about 200g)
Note: try to choose so that the apple, 1/2 pear and onion have approximately the same weight. I bought the pear in the Asian supermarket, you can also use conference pear.
Also when I’ve noticed that the amount of chili sauce in this recipe was a bit too much for 2 nappa cabbage (it maybe due to the size of my nappa cabbage). I have no problem with that sicne I love using the sauce to make soup, but if you feel like the sauce is too much you can start mixing with only half the amount and add more until it’s to your liking. Store the rest in the fridge for other dishes.
- 2 napa cabbage
- Kosher salt
1. Wash the napa cabbage and cut off the roots, separate the leaves and chop into bite-size pieces. Make a brine using the ratio 10 water : 1 salt, soak the cabbage in the brine, turning every 30 minutes to evenly salt the cabbage. Soak the cabbage for 3-4 hours or until you can bend a piece of cabbage without it snapping like in the photo.
2. While waiting for the cabbage, we can start preparing the kimchee sauce. Peel the apple, pear, onion, garlic and ginger, cut into small pieces. Chop off the roots of the leek, cut into pieces. Blend them all together, put into a big mixing bowl, mix well with chili powder, sugar, salt and fish sauce.
3. Cut off the ends of the carrot and radish, rinse well and julienne them. Mix these two into the blended mixture and we have the kimchee sauce. Let this sauce marinate for 1 hour. If you don’t have napa cabbage, add some sesame seed and it will already make an excellent side dish.
4. When the napa cabbage is salted enough, rinse it with water very well 3-4 times, drain and let it dry for 1 hour. I have a salad spinner so I just have to add the cabbage in there and spin, very convenient
Mix the cabbage with the sauce. Transfer to an air-tight container and let sit at room temperature for 1 day (or until the kimchee is fermented to your liking) and then move it to the fridge. The kimchee can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 months.
Have a nice week everyone ❤