Thursday, May 26, 2011

What's Cookin?: Kim Chi

Since my Winter Elf Chinese Cabbage bolted, I pulled them all out. I had about 2 heads worth of cabbage. Since I also had an overabundance of Asian greens, I decided to make a batch of kim chi with the cabbage. I've never made kim chi from scratch. I usually use a bottle of pre-made sauce to make kim chi. I decided to try a new approach.

Kim Chi
Makes 4-5 pint jars
Adapted from recipe by GochisosamaDeshita at

2 heads Napa cabbage
1 c. sea salt
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
5 green onions, chopped
1/2 small white onion, minced
1 small daikon, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 Tbsp. white sugar
1 inch piece ginger, grated
4 Tbsp. Korean chili powder

1) Cut the cabbages in half lengthwise and trim the ends. Rinse and cut into pieces about 2 inch square. Place the cabbage into a Japanese pickle press (If you don't have a pickle press, you can use large resealable bags), sprinkle salt on the leaves so they are evenly coated. Use your hands to rub the salt into the leaves. Cover the press and twist to press the cabbage (or seal the bags). Leave cabbage at room temperature for about 4-6 hours.

2) After cabbage sits, rinse the salt from the cabbage leaves well. You may need to rinse several times. Drain and squeeze out any excess liquid.

3) Place cabbage, green onions, white onions, daikon, ginger and garlic into a large non-reactive bowl.

4) Add fish sauce and white sugar and mix well. Sprinkle the Korean chili powder over the mixture.

5) Wear plastic gloves to protect your hands and rub the chili powder into the cabbage leaves until they are evenly coated.

6) Pack kim chi into glass jars. (Be careful not to overstuff because as the kim chi ferments, it will expand). Seal and set in a cool dry place. Leave jar undisturbed for 4 days. After 4 days, place jars in the refrigerator. Refrigerate kim chi before serving. Kim chi will keep for up to 1 month.

**Edited to add: This recipe turned out yummy! I double bagged a bottle and packed it in my suitcase to take to Las Vegas for my brother and his family. They liked it too and wanted me to make more. I ended up making another batch for them while I was there!**


Charmcitybalconygarden said...

oh! that looks really good! let us know how it tasted.

Rowena... said...

Holly, you have the coolest kitchen gadgets. Japanese pickle press? Never heard!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Nice home-made kim chi Holly!

~Holly~ said...

charmcitybalconygarden-The kim chi turned out great!! The original recipe called for 5 Tbsp of chili pepper but I went with 4. I found that worked out perfectly (about a mild to medium taste).

rowena-Thanks! I found that at the Asian market and couldn't resist!

malay-kadazan girl-Thanks!!