Kimchi has gained popularity in Malaysia since a few years ago, after being a prominent feature in many Korean restaurants.
It’s basically spicy, fermented cabbage, topped with amazing flavours thanks to the addition of garlic, ginger & chilies. The best part? It’s always served as a side dish which can be refilled for free!
However, since we can’t go to restaurants due to the lockdown, many are buying them online or preparing them at home. So in case you’re curious on how to do it yourself, let’s take a look:
- 1kg Napa cabbage
- 1/4 cup iodine-free sea salt or kosher salt (for better fermentation process)
- Water, preferably distilled or filtered
- 1 tablespoon grated garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 tablepoons fish sauce or salted shrimp paste, or 3 tablespoons water
- 5 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes
- 200g Korean radish or daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 4 medium scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
Step 1 – Cabbage
- Split the cabbage into quarters. Cut it lengthwise and remove the cores from each piece. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips.
- Place the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt.
- Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften.
- Let it sit for 1 to 2 hours.
- Rinse the cabbage under cold water. Set aside to drain for 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 2 – Spice paste
- Take garlic, ginger, sugar, and fish sauce or shrimp paste and stir into a smooth paste.
- Stir in red pepper flakes (1 tablespoon for mild and 5 tablespoons for spicy).
- Set aside until the cabbage is ready.
Step 3 – Combine the ingredients
- Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and add it to the spice paste. Add radish and scallions into the mixture.
- Using your hands, gently mix the paste into the vegetables until they are thoroughly coated. (Use gloves to protect your hands from stings, stains and smells).
Step 4 – Fermentation
- Pack the kimchi into a jar. Press down on the kimchi until the liquid rises to cover the vegetables, leaving at least 1 inch of space at the top. Seal the jar.
- Leave the jar in cool room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for 1 to 5 days.
Step 5 – Refridgerate
- Check the kimchi once a day and press down the vegetables with a clean spoon to keep them submerged under the brine. (This also releases gases produced during fermentation.)
- Have a little taste and when the kimchi tastes ripe enough for your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator.
- You may eat it right away, but it’s best after another week or two.
We love Kimchi because it’s not a complicated dish and contains healthy/good bacteria that boosts immunity, energize the body, and aid digestion.
In fact, many people believe that it can also help fight cancer, lower cholesterol as well as regulate blood sugar.