As Korean TV shows increased in popularity over the last decade, Korean culture has been part of our own. Korean restaurants are opening left and right in every city. With that came the introduction to Kimchi. A Korean fermented staple that is being served in every meal as a side dish. The age and flavor varies from region to region.
The more you ferment the Kimchi, the bolder the acidity. As it breaks down its natural sugars, produces gas and acid that gives the Kimchi its sour flavor.
Salting the cabbage helps drain out the excess moisture where bad bacteria can thrive, leaving only the probiotics to survive. The extra marinate (porridge) gives Kimchi the flavorful punch to compliment the acidity.
You can start your journey in experimenting and creating your very own Kimchi at home. As they say, it’s always better when everything is being made from scratch.
Yield: 500 grams
500g. Napa Cabbage or Baguio Petchay, cut into quarters
1 cup Iodized Salt
1/2 Tbsp. Potato Starch
2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Water
2 Tbsp. Fish Sauce
1/2 cup Gochugaru (Korean chili powder)*
1 Tbsp. Gochujang (Korean chili paste)
100g. White Onion, cut into thin strips
30g. Garlic, sliced thinly
Sprinkle salt into each layer of the cabbage, especially in the white stem. Let it sit for an hour to two hours to extract as much moisture as possible.
While waiting, prepare the marinate. Combine everything. Mix well. Set aside. For spicier flavor, double the quantity of gochugaru.
After dehydrating, rinse in cold water and squeeze out the excess moisture.
Spread the marinate in each layer of the lettuce until nice and red. Roll into a bowl and place it in a plastic container or a clay jar. Repeat until finished. Spoon some porridge in each layer of lettuce. Cover with a plastic wrap loosely press it to seal all the air out before covering it with its cover.
Store in a dark room or in the cabinet under the sink. Let it ferment for atleast a day or until the desired sourness. Depending on the temperature, sometimes it ferment faster. I prefer it atleast 2 days before consumption.
After two days, transfer to chiller to slow down the fermentation process.
Tip: If your going to pack it in a sterilized jar, make sure to fill it around 80% of the bottle. As it ferments, it produces gas, so that it has enough space to escape and won’t overflow.