In the middle of winter the comfort of roasted vegetables is undeniable. But around the holidays when eating habits take a turn for the worse and we all needs something a little fresher to brighten up our taste buds and stomachs, kimchi is there for us.
We usually have a couple of jars packed away either fermenting on the shelf or hanging out in the fridge ready to be used. Some favourite applications are on brown rice with a poached egg and some steamed greens, piled on a grilled cheese sandwich, or topping roasted vegetable tacos. Start experimenting and you'll soon find kimchi making appearances in breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
This recipe is a great starting point, but feel free to adjust based on your taste - more or less garlic, vegetarian substitutions, pear instead of apple... the variations are limitless.
1 head Napa cabbage
1 - 1 1/2 cups salt
1 pound white radish (1/2 for sauce, 1/2 juliened)
1 large carrot, peeled into ribbons
1 cup Korean chilli paste (gochujang)
1 tablespoon rice starch powder
1/2 cup fish sauce
3 1/5 tablespoons white sugar
6 spring onions, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
8 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons ginger
1/2 apple, peeled and cored
1/4 white onion
1/3 cup mirin
Cut cabbage into quarters and salt liberally between the leaves. Place in a bowl, toss every 20-30 minutes for approximately 2 hours.
While the cabbage is wilting, combine the rice starch and mirin with 1/6 cup water in a pot over low heat. Cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens. Let cool completely. Whisk in the chilli pepper, fish sauce, and sugar.
In a food processor, combine the garlic, onion, half of the radish, ginger, and apple. Process until it becomes a pulpy liquid.
In a large bowl, salt the carrot and remaining radish. Massage for 30-60 seconds. Rinse both the carrot/ radish and cabbage thoroughly.
Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Pack into airtight container(s) and leave in a cool, dark place for 3 days. Carefully remove the lid (because gas will have built up) and taste for readiness. Continue fermenting if desired. We have enjoyed kimchi the most which is fermented for 6-7 days. When it has reached your desired level of fermentation, transfer to the fridge. Kimchi will last in the fridge for many months - the flavours will meld together more but will become more sour the longer it is left.