Kimchi — 21 Comments


  2. I’m living in southern Italy and craving certain flavors I can’t get here. Previously I lived in San Francisco and could take care of any and all cravings.
    In any case there’s no Napa cabbage here, nor daikon radish. I saw a video on youtube, made by a Korean woman who while on vacation made what she called “emergency kimchi” with regular green cabbage.
    I would like to try your recipe, but was wondering if you have any advice on using round green cabbage. They usually have two varieties here: the common smooth compact one and another round one with greener, looser, almost curly leaves.
    thank you.

    • Definitely go for it using whatever cabbage you can find. They’ll all have their different flavors and textures but it should turn out just fine. Since “round green cabbage” is a little more tough than Napa cabbage, it may take a little more time for the salt to break down the cell walls and release the liquid. Perhaps more physical pressure (pressing down using your fists) may be required to help raise up the liquid level to the point of covering the veggies/spices. Good luck and let me know if you have more questions.
      Buon Appetito!

      • Thanks again for the tip! I think I will go with the other slightly looser green cabbage, since it is also more tender (wilts more rapidly when cooked).

  3. Well, I’ve got as far as step 8. It’s been sitting in my fermentation crock for about 3 1/2 hours, and so far no – or at least not enough to cover – liquid. Should I add more brine?

    • Hi Colin. I suggest removing the weight and pressing down hard with your fist directly on the veggies, compressing them hard within thei brine, and see if the liquid level rises sufficiently. It might also simply depend on the quality/freshness of your veggies as that will affect the amount of liquid they contain. If the additional pressure doesn’t work, add 1/2 Tablespoon of salt Per cup of water necessary and mix it in to cover. Good luck!

      • Thanks Ted. I waited another couple of hours, and the liquid did come up some, but not enough to cover the veggies. I added about a cup of brine, and now am waiting keenly for the results! Thanks again!

  4. Am I screwed? I was listening to Game of Thrones audiobook while chopping everything up and I absentmindedly put every ingredient together. Now what? Help. Ugh!
    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Wendy, it may end up a little salty but you’ll have to see that play out. Can I ask how much salt you put in and how many pounds of veggies you have? I’m working on a new batch of kimchi now where I’m not making a brine but instead am simply tossing the veggies with salt and leaving that in there.

      • Thanks for the lightning quick response.
        I didn’t use any brine, added another half head of savoy cabbage and two green apples. Added 2T of celtic sea salt and 4T of organic gochugaru. It’s already nice and wet. Keeping my fingers crossed and will get back to you.
        Pretty sure you can’t really screw this up to bad.

  5. I decided I wanted to eat some kimchi, so I found several recipes and also bought a jar so I could see what it tasted like. I used green onions, fresh ginger and garlic– but I had to use chili powder (with red chilies as first ingredient) and a few flakes of dried red pepper. Then I thought daikon radish sounded good, but here in central Montana we don’t have anything so exotic. Then I got the bright idea to use a little Wasabi (which I did have). I’ve been eating what I made because it really tastes good–I can’t seem to wait for it to ferment. But I did the same thing with mead.

  6. I have the same problem of certain ingredients not being widely available in rural Devon (UK).
    Instead of the radish I have used Jerusalem Artichoke that I have growing in the vegetable garden. The kimchi turned out really well. I intend to get creative with the next batch.
    A restaurant I regularly visit makes a mean kimchi toasti. ( A layer of kimchi and a slice of cheese on wholemeal bread.)
    Lucky for me there are plenty of cabbages available all year round here and even the organic ones are not expensive. There is always a new jar of red or white sauerkraut on the go in my kitchen. Great on salads.

  7. My kimchi, which is made from more mundane ingredients than you specify, because I had to improvise, tastes really good. But, it’s in a large jar, and it’s still, after 3 weeks, sending up gas bubbles. The cabbage is starting to fall apart a bit, and the liquid is just slightly murky…probably from the slightly disintegrating veggies. As I say, it’s really ? yummy, but is it at all possible to poison yourself with kimchi? I have eaten some with rice with no ill effects, but my family won’t go near it.

    • I always say you have to rely on your own instinct to determine if something is good or not. The pH level of kimcbi, especially after bubbling for few weeks is too low for botulism to remain viable so you shouldn’t have to worry much on that front. I tend to be pretty trusting with ferments, but that’s more my personal style.

    • Thanks for your question Jill if you formally can this, you’d have to raise the temp and kill all the probiotic activity. Not advised. Best to just keep it refrigerated which significantly slows the fermentation process. It will gradually get more sour tasting with time but still delicious.

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