First attempt at Kimchi

Discussion in 'The Mess Hall' started by Sullybob, May 22, 2012.

  1. Sullybob

    Sullybob Contributor

    I tossed together my fist batch of kimchi today. I used James Peterson's recipe, it's pretty basic, salt garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and a little bit of sugar. I figure once I get the wife and kids eating it I can start adding shrimp paste and stuff like that.


    Anyone else making this at home? What's your favorite recipe?
  2. The Nid Hog

    The Nid Hog Moderator Emeritus

    That looks delicious! When I was in school, we had a family from South Korea living in the apartment below us. Once a month or so, they used to have a big kimchi making party with all their friends. At some point, they started inviting my wife. That was one of the happiest days of my life. I don't know how she does it, but I'll see if I can get her to give me the recipe when she gets home.
  3. Sullybob

    Sullybob Contributor

    Thank you Chris!
  4. The Nid Hog

    The Nid Hog Moderator Emeritus

    My wife got home and confessed that she can't find her kimchi recipes. She met a nice lady who has a little shop in the next town over where she makes her own, and she had been buying it over there for the last couple of years. But I'm on the trail of a new recipe. One of my buddies is in Korea now and his wife has been doing a lot of cooking while she's there. My wife emailed her to get some new kimchi recipes. I'll post them when I get something.

    In the meantime, how's the kimchi Shawn? Would you post your recipes when you get a chance?
  5. for it to be kimchi doesn't it have to "age", a lot?

    Using "age" or maybe even "mature" because it sounds better than "fermented" or "rot".
  6. Jim

    Jim Moderator

    Just peeking over your shoulder Shawn.. don't mind me.
  7. Sullybob

    Sullybob Contributor

    The kimchi is great, so great that it's almost gone and I made another batch.

    The first recipe was pretty basic,
    1 head of Napa cabbage, core removed, and the leaves cut into bite sized pieces
    2 tbsp of ginger, finely minced
    2 tbsp of garlic, finely minced
    1 tbsp of chili flakes, (I don't have Korean chili powder)
    2 tbsp of salt
    1.5 tsp of sugar (optional)

    Sprinkle the salt on the cut up cabbage and rub the salt into the leaves with your hands. Let the cabbage salt mixture rest at room temperature for several hours. Drain the cabbage and squeeze the excess water from the cabbage. Toss the rest of the ingredients with the cabbage. I put the kimchi in a one quart canning jar. Let the kimchi sit on the counter for a couple of days, don't tighten the lid because the kimchi is going to be releasing gas and you don't want to build up pressure in the jar. Once the cabbage starts to soften put it in the refrigerator, and enjoy.

    For my second attempt I modified this recipe quit a bit. I omitted the fish sauce, my wife can't stand it and if I told her I put it in she won't even try it, it is going in my next batch, don't tell her. I also Julienned the daikon instead of grating it. And I used chili paste, I am going to get my hands on some Korean chili powder for my next batch.

    With both recipes I didn't let it stand until bubbles were forming, some recipes call for this and some don't, I think it really depends on how much liquid you have and both of my recipes were low in liquid once the mixture went into the canning jars.

    Oh yeah, both recipes were great to start nibbling on right away! You could make either one fresh and serve it as a gateway kimchi. Start them off before it gets funky and gradually work up to more more authentic kimchi.
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  8. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

  9. Nice recipe! The picture above looked too fresh to me :wink:
  10. Sullybob

    Sullybob Contributor

    Thanks Kent. The cut up squid might be a little too intense for the wife, and me :lol: That recipe looked great though!
  11. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    Actually, I omitted the squid as well in favor of some fish sauce. It was too authentic for me too :lol:
  12. I thought kimchi needed to sit in a claypot and "ferment" in the ground?
  13. Ive done Maangchi's recipe a few times now and all have come out well.
    The korean red pepper flakes are key to getting that authentic taste and heat.

    I ferment mine on the counter for a couple days, then transfer to the fridge. It will continue to ferment as you eat your way through it.
  14. Sullybob

    Sullybob Contributor

    How about the oysters? :lol:

    I would think that after a certain point you would want the fermentation to slow down considerably, and the refrigerator will help do that. I don't think that the container needs to be clay, I think any non-reactive material will work just fine.

    I've been trying to find the Korean chili powder locally to get a more authentic flavor.
  15. The Nid Hog

    The Nid Hog Moderator Emeritus

    I think that there's a huge variety in kimchi. Some are meant to have a strong, fermented flavor and others are intended to be lighter. I've had kimchi that's been buried in Korea, but it's not necessary to do that to get the full effect. If you buy a jar of locally made kimchi in a grocery store, I think it's unlikely that it's had any kind of unusual preparation.
  16. Great thread. That recipe looks like a good starting point.

    My best friend/roommate in college was Korean. Over a few years he introduced me to the full gamut of Korean food. Kimchi was a staple in our apartment. His parents made it old school and rotated buried pots in their yard.

    His mom made some incredible kimchi and pork dumplings and a kimchi/squid/rice dish that was kind of like fried rice but spicy and more delicious. We had kimchi - ramen - egg soup quite a bit in our college years, too.

    I've attempted to make it over the years, but nothing's ever come close to the 'real thing'. I've decided to simply buy prepared kimchi since nobody in my house will so much as look at it let alone try some.
  17. Not sure I'd use anyone's Kimchi recipe whose name wasn't Lee or Kim (kidding). Here's the one I use. Before I used that one, which is quite different than most with its use of sweet rice flour, I had reasonable success with this one. BTW, it makes a great condiment for use on a burger. I tend to double up on the pepper flakes as I like it hotter than most.
  18. One of the more favorite threads I've viewed on B&B lately. I like what you are doing here Chef Shawn.... it is these esoteric type dishes which intrique me very much..... Now sorry,...... but I'm off to make banana chocolate chip pancakes for Memorial Day Brunch.... LOL
  19. Sullybob

    Sullybob Contributor

    Those recipes look fantastic faceandhead, thanks. The sweet rice flour paste is intriguing.

    Thanks Mike!

    I am loving the recipes and tips that this thread has spawned! My next batch of kimchi is going to be a whole lot funkier!
  20. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    I have been known to mince up some KimChee and add it to tuna salad sandwiches. And fried rice.

    The burying of Kim Chee in clay pots was done to prevent it from freezing in the winter I think. From what I remember Kim Chee was/is made during the summer/autumn months to last the whole winter. Kinda of like the lemons the Brits took on ship voyages, or the sauerkraut used by the sea faring Europeans whose name escapes me now.

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