Kimchi: How to Make this Korean Superfood at Home
Kimchi is a Korean staple and one of the most popular and well-known banchan (side dishes) from its cuisine. Made from fermented cabbage that's salted and seasoned with a variety of aromatics and Korean chili powder, it's extremely good for your gut.
Kimchi is a Korean staple and one of the most popular and well-known banchan (side dishes) from its cuisine. Made from fermented cabbage that's salted and seasoned with a variety of aromatics and Korean chili powder, it's extremely good for your gut. Among its wealth of benefits, kimchi helps to aid digestion with its probiotics, equips the body with cancer-fighting properties from its healthy ingredients, improves mental health and lowers cholesterol. Learn how to make the authentic version of this superfood at home.
- 2 lbs Napa cabbage (about 1 head)
- 1/4 cup sea salt
- 2 cups daikon radish, julienned
- 5 cloves of garlic, whole
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, sliced
- 6 tbsp Korean-style red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp glutinous rice powder
- Wash and cut the cabbage leaves into 1-inch pieces. Save one whole leaf and set aside.
- Fill a bowl with 2L of water and add the salt. Stir until dissolved. Add the cabbage to the brine and let stand at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours.
- While the cabbage is brining, prepare the paste. Add the garlic, ginger, Korean red pepper flakes, fish sauce, sugar and glutinous rice powder to your food processor or blender. Process until the ingredients are fully combined and have formed a dense paste. Set aside.
- When the time is up, drain the cabbage (reserve the brine) and blot it with paper towels to absorb excess liquid. Add it back to the bowl with the daikon radish.
- Add the paste to the bowl with the cabbage and daikon radish, and mix with tongs until the vegetables are well coated and the paste is evenly dispersed.
- Pack the preparation into a 2-quart jar, making sure to leave a few inches at the top, to allow room for the juices that will be released.
- Pour in a bit of the reserved brine until the vegetables are just covered, pushing them down gently, if necessary. Add the reserved whole cabbage leaf on top, pressing down on it to ensure the kimchi remains submerged.
- Loosely cover with a lid (air needs to be able to escape) and place the jar in a large bowl to catch any juices that might spill over.
- Store the kimchi in a cool dark place for 3 days. On the evening of day 3, tap the jar and watch to see if any bubbles rise to the top. If you see bubbles, the kimchi can be moved to the refrigerator where it can continue to slowly ferment. If you don't see any, let the jar sit for another day or two.
- For best results, let the kimchi continue to ferment in the fridge for 2 weeks before tasting. Once ready, it will continue to ferment but can be stored for months in the fridge, as long as the vegetables are submerged.
Hungry for more? Check out: From kimchi to sauerkraut, recipes that are good for your gut.
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