I was particularly inspired by the books: Eating Korean by Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee and Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz. Their recipes have become the base of mine, but I would recommend experimenting yourself in the making process, as it is part of its tradition. Try adding or playing around with different hot chili, dry fish and shrimps.
Basic Fermented Kimchi
- Ceramic Fermenting Crock
- 1 cup salt
- ½ gallon water
- 2 heads Napa cabbage cut into quarters
- 1 Asian radish peeled and grated
- 1 bulb garlic cloves separated and peeled
- 3 tbsp fresh ginger root grated or cut into ¼ inch lengths
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- ½ cup Chili powder or dry California chili cut into ½" pieces
- 1-2 onion(s) chopped
- 1 Asian pear grated or cut into sticks
- 1 bunch mustard greens cut into 2" length
- 1-2 carrots
- 1 bunch green onions cut into 1" length
- 1 tsp sugar
- sesame oil or sesame seeds
- Dissolve 1-cup salt in ó gallon water. Soak the Asian radish and cabbage in the salt water for 6 hours or overnight.
- After soaking, or the next day, drain the cabbage and the radish but retain some of the salty water. Leave a one cabbage leaf as a whole (not cut).
- Combine garlic, ginger, fish sauce, chili and onion in food processor, blend until finely minced into a paste.
- Cut cabbage into pieces of 1 ó “ and radish into 2” length of narrow sticks. Cut carrots and Asian pear into the same size sticks.
- In large bowl, combine, green onion, mustard greens, Asian pear, carrots 1 tablespoon salt and sugar and toss gently.
- Add to the bowl the cabbage and radish.
- Add the ginger-chili-garlic paste with and mix together.
- Pack it tightly into the ceramic vessel and use one Napa leaf to wrap the mixture on top. Add a little bit of salty water on top.
- Close the lid on top of vessel, and add water in the trough, add water if trough gets dry. Ferement for 5 days or more.