Kimchi

SERVES 12 cups PREP 30 mins COOK 1 week fermentation Easy

I love pickles and especially hot and sour Kimchi. Its great by itself with rice, in a roll for lunch, as a salad or side with barbecued meat, with teriyaki or with pork buns. This recipe makes a lot, but you will eat it by the fork-load!

Ingredients

  • 1 large (about 1.5kg) Chinese cabbage (wombok)
  • 250g (1 cup) salt
  • 90g (1/2 cup) rice flour
  • 55g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb, cloves separated and peeled
  • 5 cm piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 190ml (3/4 cup) fish sauce
  • 100g (1 cup) kochugaru (Korean chilli/ red pepper powder)
  • 7 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 daikon (white radish), peeled and julienned
  • 1 nashi pear, peeled and julienned

Method

Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Slice the quarters into 4cm chunks. Rinse well to remove any grit. Put the cabbage in a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt and mix well. Leave for three hours, tossing the cabbage every hour. Rinse the cabbage thoroughly several times and set aside to drain in a colander.

Place 625 ml (2 1/2 cups) water in a medium saucepan over-medium heat.

Add the rice flour, bring to the boil and cook, stirring continuously, for 5-7 minutes until thickened. Add the sugar and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

In a food processor, blitz the onion, garlic and ginger until you have a paste. Add the fish sauce and pulse a few times to combine. Put the paste in a large bowl with the rice flour mixture. Stir in the kochugaru and add the spring onion, daikon, nashi pear and cabbage. Mix thoroughly. Place in a large airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

Check your kimchi after a few days. Bubbles should be forming around the top, which means it is fermenting. If you want to speed up the fermentation process, leave the kimchi out of the refrigerator until it has reached the level of sourness to your taste. Kimchi will keep in the refrigerator, in a sealed container for several months - if it lasts that long!

 

BRENT'S TIPS: When you add the paste, it's a good idea to wear disposable gloves and mix it with your hands.


If you're planning on using the kimchi sooner rather than later, leave a small amount out at room temperature to start fermenting quicker than the rest. It might be ready in 3-4 days this way.