Kimchi (김치) is a popular traditional Korean dish which involves fermenting vegetables with seasonings. Each regions and seasons in Korea has their own distinct kimchi ingredients and flavours. So you can imagine how many varieties of kimchi you will find in Korea! Kimchi is said to be one of the top 5 health food of the world. It is a superfood because it cut cancer risk, lower cholesterol and aid digestion.
I didn’t like kimchi at first and neither the second nor the third time. It took me quite sometime to liking the kimchi taste. Once the love is there it really is hard to resist not eating kimchi. Anyway, I have a very strong urge to make my own kimchi earlier this year. After some dilly-dally I finally decided on Maangchi’s Easy Kimchi recipe. It’s a mat kimchi type which means it’s sliced bite-size.
My first homemade kimchi. Wohooooo!
Come follow my snapshots below in my very first kimchi making journey.
First step is to wash the air-tight bottles with boiling water and air-dry them. I prefer using glass bottles rather than plastic container for storing kimchi. These bottles are usually use for storing acar come Chinese New Year. Mom bought ‘em at Ikea.
10 lbs worth of napa cabbage. Gigantic! *whistles*
Slicing napa cabbage, the main ingredient for making any type of kimchi.
I enjoyed the slicing, soaking and rinsing work. Haha! Soaking the cabbage in cold water will assist the salting process later.
Thankfully I have a large unused basin. This is the beginning of salting process. Now this is the part that I made a mistake (I think so) by adding too much salt.
After 1.5hours of salting by turning the cabbage every 30 minutes, it’s back to rinsing 3-5 times depending how dirty the cabbages are and finally draining ‘em.
Others must-have kimchi ingredients: leeks, carrot, spring onions, radish, garlic, onion. Cut them up during the salting process since you will have plenty of free time.
Next make porridge from sweet rice flour (glutinous rice flour). Cool porridge in cold water basin. This porridge is use for making kimchi paste.
Making kimchi paste.
Making kimchi. This is my favorite process. :) *peace*
Finally, storing kimchi in air-tight glass bottles.
Managed to fit all the kimchi into 5 1/2 bottles.
My bottles of kimchi gold. Hehe
9 days old kimchi. I didn’t let my kimchi ferment a few days in the kitchen as I want them to ferment slowly hence I put them in the fridge right away.
How to know your kimchi is fermenting? You would notice air bubbles. From time to time, press down the top kimchi so that it is submerge in kimchi juice. Exposed kimchi (not submerge in kimchi juice) will spoil faster (you will notice white mold).
It looks good right?
So how was the taste? I gotta said I failed miserably. It has a weird after-taste and too salty. I know where the too salty part come from (me over salting the cabbage) but I couldn’t really pinpoint where the after-taste originate from. My best guess is the Vietnamese fish sauce that I used.
Funnily though I gave quite a few away to friends and they said the kimchi are delicious. Not sure whether they’re trying to be nice or due to them favoring this kind of taste. All in all I enjoyed the kimchi making process very much. I thought it would be VERY difficult but it turned out to be easy, fun and enjoyable. Next time though I will cut down on the napa cabbage. 3 is too much for just experimenting. :P
Tsk, do you know what are the other 4 health food of the world besides kimchi?
Answer: Yogurt, soy, olive oil and lentils.
I would like to end this post with a big THANK YOU to YOU!
Yes you my dear readers, thank you for visiting this humble food blog, thank you for trying the recipes and thank you for your valuable comments. It’s been a great 2011 for MessyWitchen.com and I look forward to sharing more recipes and cooking tips with you in 2012.
All the best and Happy New Year!