Oh man, this kimchi is good! Pungent, garlicky, gingery, spicy but not too. . . we eat it straight out of the jar. I wish I could remember to get it out and serve it as a kind of relish or salad at meals. Do you eat kimchi? With what?
I also wish I could say kimchi kept our household entirely healthy while everyone else fell to the dreaded stomach bug over Christmas, but no, that is not the case. But I'm not really eating it to stay healthy - it's just intensely more-ish and the kimchi breath is totally worth it. I think we're on our third batch since November.
Kimchi (modified just slightly from Linda Ly's recipe, linked above)
Place in large bowl:
2 lbs. Napa cabbage, sliced fine
1/4 cup non-iodized salt
Stir and massage well. Cover with water. Stir occasionally for 2 hours. Volume should be reduced by half and cabbage should be limp.
Strain salt-water off cabbage. Rinse and strain again.
Add to cabbage in bowl:
1/2 lb. daikon radish, julienned
1/2 lb. carrots, julienned
6 green onions, cut in 1" pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
1" piece ginger, minced
In a blender, puree:
1 Asian pear, cored and chunked
1 small yellow onion, chunked
1 cup dechlorinated water
1/2 cup Korean chile powder (gochugaru)
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
Stir puree into vegetables. Stir well (can use your hands if you wear gloves). Pack into jars or a crock to ferment, leaving at least 2" headspace. Weight the vegetables down under the liquid, pressing firmly. Ly recommends pressing down firmly every day and fermenting for 3-7 days. I don't always press daily, and I usually ferment a little longer. Store kimchi in fridge when it's done fermenting.
1. I did use a Bartlett pear once and didn't notice any difference.
2. I halve the water since I'm using the chile paste instead of the powder; well, once I forgot, but I just had more delicious liquid so it seemed fine.
3. Use organic ingredients when possible for fermentation because they are more likely to have happy bacteria on/in them already, which assists fermentation.
4. On my previous kimchi post, I explain the methods of fermentation much more fully (but used cayenne! wouldn't do that now). But if you're still confused, please ask. I think fermentation is a strange process until you've done it a few times and know what to expect.
5. Kimchi is not like baking chemistry, so you can probably add or subtract ingredients up and down the line. We love the flavor of this recipe because it's similar to what I used to buy.