Basic Kimchi

Similar to sauerkraut, kimchi involves soaking cabbage in a salt brine, then rinsing with fresh water before seasoning with hot spices. The recipe below is adapted from Wild Fermentation. Like all vegetable ferments, be creative with seasonal ingredients!

Kimchi packed into mason jars.

Kimchi packed into mason jars.


Kimchi packed into mason jars.
Basic Kimchi
Print Recipe
Equipment: large bowl for mixing mason jars with metal canning lids
Servings Prep Time
16 half pints 30 minutes
Passive Time
1 week
Servings Prep Time
16 half pints 30 minutes
Passive Time
1 week
Kimchi packed into mason jars.
Basic Kimchi
Print Recipe
Equipment: large bowl for mixing mason jars with metal canning lids
Servings Prep Time
16 half pints 30 minutes
Passive Time
1 week
Servings Prep Time
16 half pints 30 minutes
Passive Time
1 week
Ingredients
Spices
Servings: half pints
Instructions
  1. Mix a brine of 4 cups water and 4 tablespoons salt. Stir well to dissolve salt.
  2. Chop cabbage and vegetables coarsely and soak in brine. Mix once every twenty minutes for an hour, or keep submerged using a heavy plate overnight till cabbage is soft.
  3. Prepare spices: grate the ginger, chop garlic and onion, remove seeds from the chilies and chop or crush or throw them in whole. Kimchi can absorb a lot of spice. Mix spices into a paste.
  4. Drain brine from vegetables and rinse thoroughly to remove excess salt, about three times. Taste the cabbage. If you cannot taste salt, too much has been removed. Sprinkle a couple teaspoons on.
  5. Mix the vegetables with the spice paste. Pack into jars till brine rises. If necessary, top the jars with extra brine before capping.
  6. Cap jars tightly and open slightly (over a sink) to release pressure once or twice a day, for about a week. Basic kimchi will be ready to eat in a week, and should be stored in the refrigerator or a cool space to slow fermentation.
Recipe Notes

*I prefer using the Korean hot pepper spice, called kochukaru or gochugaru. It can be ordered online.

Hundreds of varieties of kimchi exist—I recommend also trying cucumber kimchi or fruit kimchi.

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