I have a friend who was born and raised in Korea. She is now married and lives here in Florida. She does a lot of cooking at home and all she knows how to cook is Korean food. (Honestly I think she just misses home and cooking is the only thing that is home related that can keep her happy). I get invited over to her house for dinner at least once a week and If I am available, I of course go. The one item that is always included in dinner is kimchi. Kimchi is Korea’s national dish. It is fermented cabbage that is seasoned with many spices and is eaten as an entree, side item, or used as a garnish. There is an oriental market not far from here down in Fort Lauderdale and that is usually where I go to purchase kimchi.
I had a request from a friend on my facebook page to put up some posts on raw fermentation. I did a post a while back on sauerkraut so keeping in the cabbage family I knew this would be an excellent recipe. You don’t have to cook Korean food to enjoy kimchi. I love it on top of a bed of rice, or used as a topping on tacos. However you choose to eat your kimchi is up to you. (This recipe is super simple to make)
Mise en Place:
-1 Napa Cabbage
-1 Cup Salt
-1 Gallon Water
-1 Head of Garlic, cloves all peeled
-1 Small head of Ginger, peeled
-1 Pack of scallions or 10 Each, sliced 2″ long
-3 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
-2 Tablespoons Sugar
-1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
-1 Cup Fish Sauce
-1/2 Cup Red Pepper Powder
-1/4 Cup Roux (1/2 stick butter melted and 1/3 Cup Flour mixed in.)
-Small handful sesame seeds
-2 Mixing bowls
Method of Prep:
-Slice cabbage lengthwise in half, then slice each half lengthwise into 3 sections. Cut away the tough stem chunks.
-Dissolve the salt in the water into a very large container. (I separated the water between two mixing bowls for I didn’t have a large container on hand.) Submerge the cabbage under the water. Press down completely making sure cabbage stays under the water. You can place something on top if that helps. Allow cabbage to sit in the water for 1 hour. After an hour, mix the cabbage around and flip upside down so the top side is on the bottom and continue to soak for another 3o minutes.
-The cabbage should look lifeless when finished. Rinse 3 times and drain well. press firmly on top to get rid of extra water, set aside.
-Using your food processor, chop up garlic and ginger.
-In a large mixing bowl, add all remaining ingredients, including the roux.
-Place cabbage on top and mix well.
-Check seasoning and adjust if needed.
-Place in a container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.