Monday, September 06, 2010

August 28, 2010: Kimchi

Our vegie box has been loading us up with more cabbage than we can eat lately (there's only so many times you can have spring rolls for dinner!), so Cindy suggested we try to make kimchi with our stockpile.

We started with this incredibly simple recipe and then simplified it even more (mostly because we had no spring onions in the house). The measurements were all pretty imprecise too (mostly because I was in charge and couldn't be bothered weighing anything), but things seemed to work out pretty well. I cut down the chilli powder a bit to try to make sure our kimchi didn't turn out insanely hot but it still had a pretty impressive kick.

To ensure we weren't blown away, we mixed a cup or so of the kim chi with some chopped up tofu, spinach and coriander and Cindy made these fantastic little dumplings that had just a hint of fermented spicy goodness. We probably could have upped the kim chi quotient a little, but this was a nice gentle start to our kimchi eating experiences.


white cabbage (I'm guessing we had about 500g), roughly chopped
10-15g of minced ginger
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 level tablespoon of chilli powder
1 - 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/4 cup of salt

Lay the chopped cabbage out on a baking tray and slather with the salt - you want to make sure all the leaves are pretty well salted. Let it sit for half an hour or so, to draw out the cabbage's moisture.

Drain and rinse the cabbage leaves thoroughly.

Stir all the ingredients together, making sure everything is evenly distributed. Store the mix in an airtight container for around 2 days - I read in various places that it's meant to bubble when it's ready. I'm not sure that ours hit the bubbling stage, but there was a definite release of built up gas when we opened the lid, suggesting things had fermented pretty well.


  1. **blush** Awesomeness :) There isn't any exact measurement to be honest... we are cooks! Glad you made it and enjoy it :)

  2. I've been contemplating making Kimchi recently too! Yummy yummy kimchi would be a fab addition to the kitchen. =)

  3. I struggle to know what to do with cabbage, too. But I can recommend this recipe over at another vegetarian blog:

  4. You can pretty much make kimchi out of any vegetable, but I can't say that I've ever tried it as white cabbage, I may have to give it a shot. The more traditional 'bechu kimchi' made with chinese cabbage has got a high water content (that you mostly squeeze out before fermenting), so I imagine the texture would be really different. Was your kimchi super crunchy? Because that would be awesome.

  5. Yum. That sounds easy too! I love kimchi, but never made it myself. I heard that using Korean chili is best as it's not as hot so you can add more and get more flavour without the heat.

  6. Ahhh! A recipe so simple even I think i might be able to plausibly make it without killing everyone with fermentation-gone-awry!

    Now, if only I hadn't bought a weeks' worth of vegetables and then left them at my parents' place. Fermeneted peanut butter kimchi, anyway? Kimchi apple cinnamon muffins? Kimchid housemate, maybe? The possibilities are endless...

  7. Penny, you're right - this is probably the kind of recipe that calls for personal taste rather than strict measurement. :-)

    Celeste, I'd certainly recommend it. It did not look too labour-intensive (as I watched Michael do it :-P) and two days isn't toooo long to wait before eating.

    Thanks for the link, Brett! We've had success with a few other recipes from that blog so I've happily bookmarked the dal for later.

    Hi 240films! Of course, it makes complete sense that kimchi isn't usually made with white cabbage - and it does indeed make for crunchy kimchi. :-)

    Niki - yes, I've heard that too! I'll be keeping an eye out for other chilli powders when we're browsing Asian groceries.

    Oh dear, Hannah - perhaps you could hold off until you're stocked with vegetables again? Must admit I'm not too appetised by your alternatives. :-D