How to make easy cabbage kimchi
Hi, all! If you love watching Korean dramas and movies, you are perhaps very familiar with Korean culture and the food. I am happy and excited to present some very popular and delicious Korean recipes. But before I start the first one, I would like to introduce myself a little bit.
My name is Holly, and I will be writing a Korean food column every week on DramaFever. I am a Korean native housewife, mother of two wacky kiddos, and living overseas as an expat. I currently live in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Hola!
I do run a food blog called Beyond Kimchee, where I introduce lots of authentic, home-style Korean recipes and beyond. I hope you can try some of the recipes that I am sharing with you. Cooking Korean food is not that difficult at all, and I will show you how. If you have any questions about Korean food, recipes, culture, or anything relates to Korea, please feel free to ask me in the comments. I will be happy to answer as best as I can.
The chosen recipe for the first post is the Easy Cabbage Kimchi (mak-kimchi, 막김치). If you love Korean kimchi but have a fear of making it from scratch, you don't have to be afriad anymore. You will learn how easily it can be put together.
I posted 3 episodes of how to make the authentic Cabbage Kimchi on my blog about a year ago.
Although the method of making authentic kimchi in those posts will yield truly amazing-tasting kimchi, it is quite time- and labor-demanding work. Many Korean home cooks make this easy version of mak-kimchi quite often throughout the year. “Mak” literally means whatever fast.
The only advice I can give is that this kimchi will ferment faster and has a shorter storage life since the cabbage is all pre-sliced before made into kimchi. It is meant to be eaten within a month or two.
So, don’t make more than 1 head of cabbage unless you have a crowd to feed.
First, you will need a large shallow mixing bowl to soak the cabbage.
If you don’t have it, use your kitchen sink.
Want to make a good kimchi? Use good salt. I very highly, recommend you purchase Korean sea salt. If you can't find Korean sea salt, use a good quality sea salt that you can find.
Dissolve the salt in the water.
Now, let’s give some attention to this cabbage. You will want to tear off all the cabbage leaves.
Cut your cabbage leaves like this, a little bigger in the green leafy part than the white stem part.
If the white stem part is too thick, cut in half in the center.
Dump them in the salted water and mix well. Press down on top to wilt a little.
Let them soak for 1 hour, then turn them around so the top side will go to the bottom.Continue to soak for another 45-60 minutes.
They should be lifeless.
Rinse 3 times…
and drain well. Press firmly on the top to get rid of extra water. Set aside .
Meanwhile, let’s make a quick stock.
I used anchovies and shrimp heads. You can use anything as long as they are from the ocean. Fish, squid, crab, or whatever. Adding an extra sea flavor will make your kimchi so flavorful when fermented. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes over low heat.
As you see, you will have a gorgeous stock. Strain the stock and discard the sea friends.
Cut these into chunks: apple, onion, ginger,, and garlic.
Now, my recommendation for the rice glue; I use a little bit of leftover white short grain rice. This will get rid of the extra step of making rice glue separately.
You might ask, why use the rice glue? Well, you will need some starch component to help the fermentation. It feeds the bacteria. It also works as a bonding agent for cabbage and the seasoning paste.
Put them all together in a blender, add the 1 cup of reserved stock.
Blend until very smooth. I call my blender “the smooth operator… ♪♫“
Combine the blended rice mixture with them in a bowl.
Don’t worry about the chunks of shrimps. They will melt down in 5 minutes.
Mix well and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. See? you don’t see any shrimps there.
The chili will absorb the liquid and make the paste more spreadable. The color will also be intensified as well.
Slice some Asian leeks (or onion) and green onions. You can leave out Asian leeks if you can't find them. It won't hurt the flavor.
Add about 2/3 of your kimchi filling to cabbage and onions in a mixing bowl. You can add more filling later if you need.
Toss well. Taste! It should be slightly saltier than you would hoped for. You can add more anchovy sauce or salt if needed.
Transfer your kimci into a container. Add about 1/2 cup of water to the mixing bowl where you mixed your kimchi in, swirl around to get all the residue, and pour over to kimchi.
This type of kimchi tastes excellent when freshly made, so enjoy the fresh taste on the first day you made.
You can let it sit on the counter for 1-2 days. When you see the bubble appearing in the kimchi liquid, it means the gas is produced due to the fermentation, and it is perfectly fermented. Store in the fridge afterward. Try to consume your kimchi within a month.
If you have leftover kimchi filling like I always do, store in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last up to 3 months. This will make a wonderful base to a small batch of radish kimchi (kkackttugi), or spicy stews, etc.
Kimchi is a kind of dish that you need to get used to if you never had it before. But once you get used to it, you will be hooked.
Serve your kimchi over freshly cooked rice. Your adventure with Korean cuisine will just begin…
The recipe is written below.
Easy Cabbage Kimchi
Serves: makes 1 head of cabbage
- 1 head (3 lbs or 1.5 kg) Korean Napa cabbage, sliced into 1.5-2" (smaller at the stem part)
- 8 cups water
- 1¼ cup Korean coarse sea salt
- 1 Asian leek or onion, thinly sliced1 bunch green onion, sliced into 2" long
Ford the quick seafood stock:
- 5-6 dried anchovies
- 3-4 whole shelled small shrimps
- 2 cups water
For the Kimchi filling:
- ½ onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1" small piece of ginger, diced
- ½ sweet apple, peeled and diced
- ⅓ cup cooked white rice
- ⅔ cup Korean chili flakes
- 3 tablespoon Korean anchovy sauce
- 2 tablespoon salted shrimp
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- Dissolve the coarse sea salt with water in a very large shallow mixing bowl or in the sink. Add the cabbage slices and toss to mix. Press top so the solution will sip through the cabbage.
- Soak the cabbage for 1 hour in the solution, toss so the top side will go down to the bottom and let it soak for another 45-60 minutes until the cabbage is well wilted.
- Meanwhile, make the seafood stock. Combine anchovies and shrimp in the water, bring to boil first, then simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Let it cool and strain the stock. Reserve 1 cup.
- Rinse the cabbage 3 times and drain very well. You might need to press the cabbages firmly to remove the extra moisture.
- To make filling, place onion, garlic, ginger, apple, and rice in a blender. Add the reserved stock and puree until smooth. Transfer the puree into a medium size mixing bowl and add the rest of the filling ingredients, mix well. Let it sit for 10 minutes so the chili flakes will absorb the moisture.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine drained cabbage, leek(or onion), and green onion. Add ⅔ of kimchi filling first and toss everything very well. You might need to add the rest of the filling if your kimchi doesn't seem to be red enough.
- Taste your kimchi and adjust seasoning by adding more anchovy sauce or salt. It should taste a little saltier than you would hope for. Transfer your kimchi into the storage container.
- Pour ½ cup of water to the mixing bowl that you made kimchi in, swirl around to wash the filling and pour over to your kimchi.
- Serve this kimchi on the same day you made to enjoy the fresh taste or let it sit on the room temperature for 1-2 days to ferment, then store in the fridge and consume within a month.
Note: Store your kimchi in an air tight container and place 1-2 boxes of baking soda in the fridge to absorb the odor.
If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any Korean food and culture, please feel free to ask.
Hope you enjoyed reading this post, guys! Have a great day!