Back before refrigeration came about, the main solution for making food last over long periods of time was through preserving, which is how kimchi came about. Kimchi is made by fermenting various vegetables. It is traditionally stored in earthenware pots that completely block out oxygen and sunlight, and fermented at low temperatures for at least 6 months. Kimchi is a traditional side dish, accompany anything from noodles, rice, or soup and comes in many varieties. Enjoy this traditional Kimchi recipe from Korean cuisine chef, Ellis Jung. It has become the hallmark of Korean cuisine and has a long-standing history in Korean culture!
For our full interview with Ellis Jung and more on the history of Kimchi, click here.
Korean Napa Cabbage Kimchi 韩国泡菜
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500g of salt 盐
3 tbsp of glutinous rice or wheat flour糯米/小麦粉
200 ml of water 水
75g of green onions 青葱
200g of red radish or Daikon radish 红萝卜/白萝卜
25g of fresh ginger root 姜
3 heads or 75g of garlic 蒜
1 onion 洋葱
1 sweet pear (150g) 甜梨
flour paste (indicated above) 面粉糊（制作过程如上）
75ml of fish sauce 鱼露
75g of red chili powder 红辣椒粉 (if using Korean red chili powder for kimchi, use 150g)
4 tbsp of plum extract (매실액) or 3 tbsp sugar or honey 李子酱
For Salting 腌渍步骤需要
For Kimchi Base Paste 制作面粉糊步骤需要
For Marinade Paste 制作腌渍酱需要
Prep the Cabbage
Wash the cabbage, cut the head of cabbage in half, and cut a little at the base (about 5 cm).
Dissolve the salt in water and put the cabbage there (the water should cover all the cabbage).
Place a large rock or a weight on top of the cabbage, and leave the cabbage in salt water for 7 hours in the summer, but 12 hours during winter.
Following, rinse the cabbage under cold running water.
Lay the cabbage in colander at an angle to drain out the water.
Make Flour Paste
Dissolve flour (glutinous rice or wheat flour) in water. Cook over low heat until the porridge thickness, without bringing to a boil. Cool completely naturally.
Blend the onion, radish, garlic, pear, and ginger in a blender.
Chop the green onion into 4 cm pieces.
Put the grounded ingredients, and flour paste in a deep bowl and add fish sauce, red chili powder, sweetener, and mix.
Let the marinade paste sit for 30 minutes, then add the chopped green onions. Mix.
Assemble the Kimchi
Spread the marinade paste on the cabbage leaves. For better flavor penetration, spread the marinate in between each leaf.
Place the cabbage in a storage container by stacking the cabbage heads on top of one another. The weight of each head will add pressure to the cabbage below.
Keep the container out of the refrigerator for half a day, and then put it in the refrigerator and store the kimchi there.
Usually you can eat kimchi after 7 days from the date of cooking it.
If you do not have a special kimchi refrigerator that maintains the temperature required for storing kimchi, then the shelf life in an ordinary refrigerator is usually no more than 2 months.
Tips & Recommendations
Use sweet cabbage varieties! Using Korean red pepper for kimchi will give your kimchi a more authentic flavor. Sugar can be replaced with sweet and soft persimmons by removing the peel, mashing it, and adding it to the marinade-paste.