07 July 2009

Unconventional Kimchi

This is a really much delayed post. My Kimchi is at least 2 weeks old, that is how delayed this is.

To be honest, I wasn't a Kimchi fan all along. In fact, you could say I actually disliked it. I only had Kimchi from Korean stores in local food courts which I can safely conclude they're really not my style. My interest in Kimchi was from the recent We Got Married that I was watching. I began searching on the net for the ways different people made Kimchi. Most of them use Korean Chilli powder. I do not like the idea of buying one whole bag of chilli powder just to make Kimchi. What am I supposed to do with the remaining chilli powder?

So I came up with my own blend of chilli paste. The main ingredients in most Kimchi paste include chilli, garlic, ginger, fish sauce and sugar. The best thing about making your own Kimchi is, you can be sure what goes inside and you can control how hot/spicy you want it to be. I do not like Kimchi to be too spicy. In fact, I love mine to have a little sweet and sour taste. If you're like me, you must give this a try.


1 Chinese cabbage
1 red apple
1 green apple
course salt (about 1/2 bowl)

Ingredients for Chilli Paste
200g red chilli, seeds removed
100g garlic, peeled
60g ginger, peeled
2 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
2 tbsp roasted white sesame seeds
30g spring onion

Method for Chilli Paste

1. Blend all ingredients except spring onion and sesame seeds. You do not need to blend the paste till very fine.
2. Cut the green portion of spring onion into sections of about 3cm. For the white portion (the head), cut it diagonally into smaller stripes.
3. Mix the spring onion and sesame seeds into the blended chilli paste.

1. Wash and rinse the Chinese cabbage. Drain off excess water. I like to cut off each leaf as I find it easier to handle this way.

2. Sprinkle salt on each cabbage leaf, especially on the stem. Leave it to salt for 2 hrs. After 2 hours, turn the bottom leaves up for even salting. Leave it for another 2 hrs.
3. Rinse the cabbage well after the 4 hrs of salting (I rinse it 3 times). Squeeze out excess water. The cabbage should have softened and reduced in size.

4. Rinse and core the apples. Cut them into bite size.

5. Add a few spoonfuls of chilli paste to the apples. Mix well to ensure even coating.

6. To season the cabbage, spread out a leaf of cabbage on a flat surface. Spread chilli paste on top of the cabbage. Place a second leaf on top of it and spread chilli paste on that too. Repeat until you have about 5-6 leaves. Cut the leaves up into bit size.

7. Arrange a layer of cabbages at the bottom of a dry, clean glass container. Follow with a layer of apples, then another layer of cabbages. Repeat until all the Kimchi are stored in the container. Leave at least 1 inch of space at the top of the container.

8. Close the container and leave it at a cool place away from direct sunlight for about 2 days. You may see little bubbles in the container. These are due to the fermentation process which will yield a nice sour taste to your Kimchi. More liquid (Kimchi juice) will be produced in these 2 days.

9. After the two days of fermentation, you can keep your Kimchi in your fridge to be enjoyed as and when you like it. Kimchi can keep for a long time without turning bad.

This Kimchi is really not spicy at all, kids may like them as it is very appetising. If you prefer a more spicy Kimchi, you can replace half the amount of chilli with dried chilli or chilli padi.

One thing to note though. Remember to wear thick gloves while handling the chilli and chilli paste or your hands will suffer for at least an hour, like mine.


Blessed Homemaker said...

I love kimchi!! And by looking at your pics make me drool!!

KWF said...

Try making them. It's quite easy and satisfying!

Sazji said...

"I do not like the idea of buying one whole bag of chilli powder just to make Kimchi. What am I supposed to do with the remaining chilli powder?"

Easy: Make more kimchi in a week or so! :) I go through a lot of it...lately I've been getting more adventurous and trying some of the more interesting Korean ingredients like raw squid. (Up to now, only dry shrimp and fish paste.) Raw oysters are still a bit of a challenge though...