How To Make Homemade Kimchi
If you’re looking for your next weekend cooking project, can I suggest kimchi? It’s the spicy fermented cabbage that’s served with every single meal in Korea. Including breakfast. Now that’s bold.
If you’ve never tried it before, the flavour is super complex (which is why I love it). It’s equal parts tangy, punchy, sweet and umami – with a delicious crunch from the cabbage and vegetables. That tanginess makes it great on just about anything, too. Chop it up and put it on steak, put it in your cheese toastie, add it to mayonnaise… the possibilities are endless.
Traditionally, kimchi’s made with a lot of ingredients, but I’ve tried to cut it down (and make it vegan) while still retaining some of the cooking techniques they use in the authentic recipe. I hope you give it a go.
1.2kg Chinese leaf cabbage
50g salt (for salting the cabbage)
10 spring onions
10 garlic cloves
1 brown onion
30g miso paste
Step 1: Cut the Chinese cabbage into quarters
Tip: Only cut half way up the cabbage and tear the rest to get a more authentic look.
Step 2: Rinse the cabbage quarters under cold water and add them to a large baking tray
Step 3: Sprinkle the 50g salt over the cabbage, pulling apart the leaves to make sure the salt is really well distributed
Tip: Don’t worry about the amount of salt, you’ll wash this away later.
Set the cabbage aside for 2 hours, and flip the cabbage every 30 min
Step 4: Meanwhile, peel and roughly chop the ginger, garlic and onion, then add them to a food processor with the salt, gochugaru and miso paste and blitz until you’re left with a smooth paste – this is your kimchi paste.
Step 5: Heat a large, wide-based pan over a medium heat with 150ml cold water. When the water starts boiling, whisk in the cornflour and cook for 1-2 min or until thickened, then set it aside to cool. Once it’s cool, add the cornflour mix to the kimchi paste and give everything a good mix up.
Step 6: Peel and cut the carrots into thin batons
Trim, then roughly slice the spring onions
Step 7: Once the cabbage has been salted, rinse the cabbage thoroughly under cold water to remove all of the salt. Drain the cabbage quarters over a colander for 10 mins
Step 8: Once drained, cut the cabbage quarters into large, bite-sized pieces and add them to a very large bowl
Tip: Use the biggest bowl you own. Trust me.
Add the chopped spring onions and carrots with the kimchi paste and give everything a mix up until the cabbage is completely coated in the paste
Tip: Wear rubber gloves to stop your hands from turning red.
Step 9: Add the kimchi to a large clean jar (or two!) with a lid, leaving 2 inches at the top
Tip: Make sure you press the kimchi down the jar as you add it
Cover the kimchi loosely with a lid and set aside for 2 days or until starting to bubble
Tip: Do not cover the jar tightly as it could explode as the veg ferments.
Step 10: At this point your kimchi is ready to eat! Store your kimchi in the fridge with a loosely fastened lid and remove the lid every few days to let out any excess gas – try serving with rice, bibimbap, or any dish from our new range of Seoul Train recipes.
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