Thursday, January 10, 2013

Making my own Kimchi

Ha, I don't even know if this recipe is real kimchi. The recipe book calls it 'Pickled Vegetables' but please. It's kimchi. Call it what it is. If that's what it is. I won't know til it's fermented. But as far as I know, kimchi is cabbage that's been fermented in chili, salt, fish sauce and stuffs. So... That's what I'm making. But this recipe book is basically full of asian recipes without hard-to-find ingredients. YAY!

Here's the recipe:

1/2 a small chinese cabbage
1 litre cold water
100g salt
4 garlic cloves
4 spring onions
2.5cm fresh root ginger
10cm piece of daikon, weighing about 175g
15ml chili powder or 5ml cayenne pepper
30 ml fish sauce
5ml sugar

1. Rinse the cabbage. Seriously. There were all kinds of weird insects in mine. I think they were evolving new species. Rinse that stuff. Rinse it good... Put the water and all but 1.25ml of the salt in a large bowl and


I put 1.25 ml of salt in the bowl and the rest in the paste. Well, less than they asked for, more like 3 tablespoons, but still... Oh god oh god oh god.


Maybe if I don't tell anyone, they won't know.


Anyway, stir til the salt has dissolved. Add a plate to weigh it down and keep it covered. Leave it to soak for 8-10 hours.

2. Set the flat side of the cleaver on each garlic clove; strike it with your fist. Discard the skin and finely chop the garlic. Trim the spring onions, leaving some of the green tops. Cut across and coarsely chop.

3. Scrape the skin from the root ginger with the cleaver. Slice the ginger, cutting across the fibrous grain. Crush each slice with the flat of the cleaver, then finely chop the slices.

4. Peel the daikon and cut it crosswise in half. Cut each half lengthwise into 3mm slices. Stack the slices and cut into 3mm strips.

5. In a bowl, mix the chili powder or cayenne with the fish sauce, sugar, and the remaining salt (1/4 teaspoon) using the chopsticks. (or, if you're me, a kak ton of salt. Oops). Add the garlic, spring onions, ginger and daikon strips and stir until the mixture is all red.

6. Drain the cabbage, rinse with cold water, and squeeze it between your hands to remove all the moisture. Place the wilted cabbage, cut side up, on the work surface. Beginning with the large bottom leaves, pack the daikon mixture between each leaf.

7. Fold the cabbage leaves and push them into the jar. Pour any leftover daikon mixture on top. Cover with the lid, and leave in a cool place to ferment, at least 3 days. The cabbage will wilt and produce liquid.

I really hope this isn't too salty. Good thing we don't know how it's supposed to taste anyway... *cough*

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