Easy Classic Kimchi

I have been making homemade kimchi for years now. It was actually my first fermentation project.The first few kimchi I made were all vegan since I was worried about poorly fermenting animal products. I went through a few recipes on Pinterest and YouTube, including Mommy Tang’s and veganfying Maangchi’s learning and making changes here and there until I landed with this low hassle base kimchi recipe and process.

Whenever I make kimchi now, I refer to this recipe. There are a few things I would swap out or add based on what I have in the fridge or pantry– for example I may switch out the glutinous rice paste (food for the bacteria) for pureed apples or pear. Outlined below are the essential standard ingredients I have on hand.

The method

1a) Chop up the napa cabbage and add to a bowl with salt and water. Let soak for about 4 hours, mixing the mixture up every hour.

1b) Alternatively, chop up the napa cabbage into slices with the bottom still attached. The best way to do this is slice a napa cabbage in half and then chop that half into thirds or quarters. Sprinkle coarse salt between each leaf and let sit for about 4 hours or until the cabbage is can easily bent but still holds a crunch.

2. Make the seasoning paste: mix rice flour with water in a pot and put over medium heat, stirring until thickened ~5 minutes. Add paste to a large bowl and mix with fish sauce, gochugaru, and sugar. Let cool. Minced garlic and ginger and chop up scallions or chives and add it to the mixture.

3) One the napa cabbage is ready, thoroughly rinse and drain.
a) Massage paste into the napa cabbage and transfer to mason jars or containers.

b) Alternatively, if you kept the napa cabbage in slices, generously layer the paste between each leaf. Roll it up starting from the steam and place it seam side down in a mason jar.


Make sure to densely pack the cabbage– we want as few air pockets as possible. Seal and store in a leak proof bag or on a plate or tray. This will help with any spilling that may occur during the fermentation process.

4. Let ferment in a dark space for about two to four days depending on your taste preference. The longer it goes for, the more sour it will be. When you are ready to open, be careful and open in a sink since the fermentation introduce gases, so the kimchi and gases may try to force its way out.

Easy Classic Kimchi

My go to simple & easy kimchi recipe. Vegan option available.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Korean

Ingredients

Cabbage

  • 3-4 tbsp sea salt i usually just eyeball it
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small napa cabbage or 1/2 a large napa cabbage
  • 1/2 daikon optional

Kimchi paste

  • 1 tbsp glutinous rice flour*
  • 1 cup water*
  • 1/2 cup gochugaru
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce or light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp ginger finely minced

Extras

  • 2 scallion stalks or chives
  • 1/2 carrot optional

Instructions

  • Chop up the napa cabbage and add to a bowl with salt and water. Let soak for about 4 hours, mixing the mixture up every hour.
    kimchi
  • Make the seasoning paste: mix rice flour with water in a pot and heat over medium heat, stirring until thickened ~5 minutes. Add paste to a large bowl and mix in fish sauce, gochugaru and sugar. Add in finely chop up garlic and ginger followed up chopped up scallions and chives.
    kimchi
  • When the napa cabbage is soft– it can easily bent but still holds a crunch– it is ready. thoroughly rinse and drain.
  • Massage the seasoning paste into the napa cabbage and transfer to mason jars or containers, packing tightly to remove as much air pockets as possible
    kimchi
  • Seal and store in a leak proof bag or on a plate or tray. This will help with any spilling that may occur during the fermentation process. Let ferment in a dark space for about two-four days depending on your taste preference. The longer it goes for, the more sour it will be. When you are ready to open, be careful and open in a sink since the fermentation introduce gases, so the kimchi may force its way out.

Notes

You can also use blended up apples or pear in place of the glutinous rice flour and water mixture.

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