I mentioned in my Bibimbap post that I love Korean food and a quintessential part of this cuisine is their delicious fermented foods. Kimchi with Napa cabbage being one of the most common types. I was inspired and borrowed this recipe from one of my favourite Youtubers; Maangchi who has a wonderful channel and blog as well as her own cookbook. You should check her out. This is a quick and delicious version of Kimchi when you don’t have weeks to prepare it ahead and just have a sudden craving for something delicious and spicy.
1 large Napa cabbage (you can substitute regular green cabbage if needed)
1 cup water
1/4 cup of salt
6 cloves of garlic finely minced
1 carrot peeled and finely julienned
1 Tbsp sugar
3 green onions chopped
1/4 cup of fish sauce (I will reduce this a bit next time as the result was a bit too salty for my taste)
1/4 cup of dried hot pepper flakes (I got mine in an Asian Market)
Finely shred the cabbage, removing the hard core at the bottom. Place in a large bowl and mix in the salt and water. Massage the cabbage well, coating it all with the salt. Let sit for 15 minutes. While the cabbage is soaking, mix together the garlic, carrot, sugar, green onions, fish sauce and hot pepper flakes into a paste.
Once the cabbage has soaked in the salty water, pour off the excess liquid and rinse at least three times in cold water until the cabbage doesn’t taste salty. Squeeze out the excess water and add the paste. Mix well, massaging the paste into the cabbage until completely coated. Place in a large lidded container and press down to remove all the air. Put it in a safe spot on your kitchen counter for a day or two. Check to see if it is fermenting by pushing down on the mixture with a spoon, bubbles should come up and there should be a bright red liquid in the container, yeah, it’s working. Science and food are amazing!! Then place the container in the refrigerator to allow the fermentation process to continue slowly. It can be eaten fresh which is delicious or you can keep this for months and serve with what ever you want, Korean food or otherwise. It has been scientifically proven that eating a diet with fermented foods added in is very healthy and nutritious. I hope you try this recipe out and check out Maangchi’s blog and Youtube channel. Cheers, Michele