(Yield: 1 gallon)
2-3 large heads napa cabbage
4 tbsp sea salt
1 bunch of spring/green onions
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated daikon radish
4 tbsp minced garlic or more!
4 tbsp freshly grated ginger or more!
1 ounce seaweed of choice (optional)
1⁄4 cup fresh minced chiles of any variety
4 tbsp dried kimchi chile aka gochugaru or other chile variety
1/4 cup of fermented chile paste aka gochujang
1/4 cup fermented hot sauce
or a mix of all of them!
FISH OPTIONS (OPTIONAL)
(check labels to ensure items are preservative free)
2 tbsp fermented fish sauce
2 tbsp salted shrimp (decrease one tbsp of salt above)
fresh or canned clams roughly chopped
fresh or canned oysters roughly chopped
SWEET RICE FLOUR PASTE (OPTIONAL)
1 cup cold water
2 tbsp sweet rice flour
Make a slurry with the rice flour + ¼ cup cold water. In a small sauce pan, bring ¾ cup water to simmer. Whisk in the rice flour slurry and stir constantly to cook for about 20 seconds. The mixture should resemble white glue. Remove from pan, transfer into a small bowl and allow to cool completely. This can be incorporated to add a sweet and earthy flavor to kimchi. The natural sugars also help to quicken the fermentation time.
Peel off two outer layers of cabbage leaf and save. Roughly chop cabbage into 1 inch pieces. Cut the green/spring onions into thin disks, using most of the green parts too. Combine all of the vegetables with the salt in a large bowl. Squeeze the veggies with your hands until their juices are released. Combine the garlic, ginger, fish sauce and chili pepper into a paste and massage into the vegetables. Let it sit out for an hour to draw out more liquid.
Pack the kimchi tightly into your clean gallon vessel using your fist or a wooden tamper to ensure that there is some liquid above the kimchi. Lay the two reserved whole cabbage leaves on top of the packed kimchi and submerge in the liquid. If there is not enough liquid to cover, add just enough water to submerge. Be sure to leave about an inch of headspace from the top of the vessel as carbon dioxide, which is naturally produced, will cause everything to expand. Use a ceramic weight or other creative weight if necessary to keep vegetables submerged. Cover loosely with a lid or if you are using Preserved’s airlock lid, secure tightly on the jar. Let ferment in a dark spot (out of direct sunlight) for a minimum of 5 days and up to 30 days for a more complex and sour ferment. The large cabbage leaves on top are there to provide an extra layer of protection against surface mold. Taste the kimchi below every couple of days for your desired flavor. Transfer into the refrigerator to store for 6-12 months.
The cabbage leaves on top of the kimchi are there to provide an extra layer of protection against surface mold. Don't worry too much about mold! Simply discard the outer leaves if mold appears.