As everyone is gearing up for the big festivities tomorrow, I am making a side dish that can arguably be an essential to the Thanksgiving spread, but that’s debatable and I leave that up to you.
Unfortunately, I don’t eat Korean food as often as I would like to and I definitely don’t make the portion sizes as my mom does when I do. So I wanted to share her recipe for a quick, fresh and easy kimchi that can be eaten right after it’s made, but in a portion size that is not intimidating. And considering I don’t eat Korean food everyday and more importantly, I don’t want kimchi stinking up my fridge for days on end, I’ve adjusted the portion to fit in a good-sized jar that you might have just emptied and placed in your recycling bin, but feel free to double or triple the recipe!
1 large head of Napa cabbage
1/2 cup salt
4 cups water
5 bunches green onions
1 large fresh daikon
6 gloves garlic, crushed
1 (2-inch) piece of ginger root, grated
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp Korean chili powder
1/4 cup and 1tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp water
- Roughly chop the Napa cabbage into approx. 2 inch wedges and place into a large bowl.
- Mix 1/2 cup of salt and 4 cups of water into a large cup and stir. Pour this mixture over the chopped cabbage and distribute evenly while gently mixing the cabbage with your hands.
- Let the cabbage soak in the salt mixture for a minimum of 45 minutes and up to 2 hours. And yes, the cabbage should be very salty in this stage, which will enhance the flavor of the kimchi.
- While your cabbage is soaking, chop the green onions. I like to chop them in thirds length-wise and then slice them thinly on a diaganol (my mom always just says to make them look pretty). Place all of the sliced green onions in a large bowl.
- Peel and slice the daikon into approx. 2-inch long thin matchsticks and place them into the bowl with the green onions (again, just make them look pretty).
- Add the crushed garlic, grated ginger, sugar, salt, Korean chili powder, fish sauce and the water to the green onions and daikon. Mix everything together thoroughly (best way is to do with your hand, but wear plastic gloves if you don’t want to smell like kimchi for awhile).
- Now the most important step is to taste this mixture, which will be the sauce for your cabbage so it should be full of flavor. At this point, according to your own tastes, you can add in another few drops of fish sauce, a sprinkle of sugar or another sprinkle of red pepper if you want it spicier. If it’s right, set aside.
- Rinse your cabbage in cold water and drain. Then squeeze the water out of the cabbage by taking handfuls and squeezing until the excess water is gone.
- Add the cabbage now to the sauce mixture and mix thoroughly until well mixed.
- Taste your kimchi again and I usually add one last tbsp of fish sauce to give it that kick and flavor.
This kimchi will keep up to 2 weeks in a sealed jar in your refrigerator.