Kimchi is a really spicy Korean pickle, but it really needs ingredients like daikon (Korean radish) that are hard to find from mainstream supermarkets. Now I work near all those Asian supermarkets in the centre of London I can pick up what I need at lunchtime, so it’s time we tried making it!
I’m following this step-by-step guide form The Kitchn.
It all start with napa cabbage, or Chinese leaf.
This gets cored and chopped into 5cm wide strips, salted and covered in water in a bowl. This stands for 2 hours with a weighted plate on top of it.
After standing it gets rinsed 3 times then left to dry for half and hour.
The flavours come from a paste of garlic, ginger, sugar, pepper flakes, fish sauce & umami dust. Kimchi is normally made with sea food, but this recipe I’m following is a veg version, so I’m adding that flavour back with the fish sauce and umami dust.
Next comes the daikon radish, also called white radish, or as it was in the Chinese store I went to: mooli. This gets peeled, and 80z weighed out (about a 3rd of it, but I couldn’t find a smaller one in the store!) and chopped into matchsticks. Spring onions get copped into 3cm chunks.
With everything chopped up, it all goes into the paste, and mixed in by hand (fun!).
This gets packed down into a plastic container, and a surprising amount of liquid comes out to just about cover the kimchi.
A lid goes on, and this will sit at room temperature to ferment for 5 days, before going into the fridge ready for use. Apparently it’s best to leave for a couple of weeks before using for the best taste. Look out for it as a side to future Stir Frydays!