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Monday, November 23, 2009

Kimchi! Easier than Pie.

Looking at my camera, i realise that i actually have loads of things i have yet to blog about. So, i shall start with this. KIMCHI!

As you all should know, Kimchi is an integral food in Korean food culture. and before i actually read about it, it always seemed like something really far out and near impossible to make by yourself – something that should be eaten at restaurants or bought in a bottle.

But. it is really simple. really simple. and the ingredients are easy to get as well. So.. let’s start shall we?


I’ve recently gotten into a Korean food craze after watching Maangchi’s youtube channel. She teaches how to cook Korean food. She also has a blog. This recipe is from here. I’ve only made minor tweaks here and there to suit our tastes. and that’s the best part. You can change it to suit your own taste instead of letting others decide what you should taste.

Don’t be frightened by the list of ingredients. I’ve broken it up into 4 parts so that it’s easier to follow.


Part 1

1 Whole Chinese Cabbage
1 cup Sea Salt

Part 2

6-7 cloves of garlic (you may use lesser, i LOVE garlic)
1 inch Ginger
1/2 onion
1/2 apple

Part 3

1/4 cup Sweet Rice flour (aka Glutinous Rice Flour)
1 1/2 cup Water
<1/8 cup Sugar

Part 4

2-3 cups of Korean hot pepper flakes
5-7 stalks of Green Onions (could be a mixture of green onions and chinese chives)
1/2 cup Fish Sauce



Taking the whole cabbage – mine were already halved. Slice the cabbage into half and then quartered. Slice only into the core and gently pull apart, instead of slicing into the leaves.

Place them in large containers. I didn’t have much large containers, so i just used a pyrex baking dish (which worked really well) and a large serving plate.

Sprinkle salt liberally into each leaf section, placing more salt on the inner stems. Repeat for all 4 portions.

Leave to cure for 4 hours, turning them around halfway or as necessary.

Go have fun for 2-3 hours.

Making Kimchi Paste

After resting for 2-3 hours, get your knife and chopping board ready for prepping the other ingredients.

In a small pot, heat the Glutinous rice flour and water mixture. (Part 3) It will slowly heat and thicken, keep stirring constantly. When it begins to bubble, add in the sugar. Mix well and when sugar melts, take it off the fire.

Leave aside to cool. or pour into a LARGE mixing bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, place Part 2 of the ingredient list in and mix till a mushy paste. Leave aside.

After the flour paste has cooled down considerably, add in the mush from the food processor, and the ingredients from Part 4. Stir and Stir to combine.

Washing Time

By now, it should be approximately 4 hours since your cabbages have been salting. It’s time to wash the cabbages.

The easiest and fastest way to wash these is under running water. Place each cabbage under running water letting the water do the job of rising the salt off the cabbage. Wash each and every leaf. I did this twice for each cabbage. Squeeze the excess water out of each cabbage. Just squeeze.

See the difference in the size of the cabbage. It should now be in a way more manageable size. Try to squeeze as much water as possible out of the cabbages.

Rubbing in the paste

Now comes the final part.

Wearing gloves please.

Taking each cabbage, place into the LARGE mixing bowl leaves on top.

Taking an amount of paste with your fingers, place them into each leaf. Finally rub some paste on the outsides of the cabbage and place nicely into a container. Repeat.

I managed to squeeze them into my new Ikea plastic containers. Leave covered at room temperature for a day or two. (i left mine for one) and place in the fridge where it will continue to ferment.

The next day, i checked up on it and this is what i found. See the bubbles at the top right hand corner of the container. This means that it is fermenting. And the water that surrounds the kimchi is known as Kimchi Juice.

Kimchi juice is used in cooking as well, so it’s not going to be wasted.


There you have it! Your (Mine) own homemade Kimchi!

I sliced up half of a Kimchi for dinner. Tastes great. Just one small problem.

Hehe.. in Maangchi’s original recipe, she also made Radish Kimchi which i obviously didn’t, but i had used to same amount of paste. Therefore, my kimchi was very ‘rich’. Loads of paste on each leaf. =) I will remember to reduce the amount the next time i make kimchi.

The recipe above is as how i made it. Feel free to reduce the amounts for making the kimchi paste. I didn’t do that for you guys as i’m not 100% sure of how much i would reduce. So go rely on your intuition. and have Fun!

Other than merely eating the Kimchi on its own, it can also be made into other dishes. I have so far made one for dinner tonight and it’s called Kimchi Sujebi aka Hand torn noodle soup.

I shall post that tomorrow and i made mistakes with that which hopefully you guys can learn from my mistake and not go down my path.. although it still tasted great. =)

Kimchi On!!

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