Kimchi for Dummies

Ok this is one of these recipes that I have pondered trying for some time. I grew up in a microscopic town with a homogenous population of European DNA. It wasn’t until I moved to Vancouver that a huge door was opened to me. Kind of like an earthquake to my food world. You see, when you grow up on meat and potatoes, the sights, smells and tastes of Asian food are like water to a parched mouth. As I tasted my way through Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, and Japanese, I began to realize that behind the scenes, unassuming and silent was Korean. This came to light one day when I realized that the wonderful people who owned my local (and very good) Japanese restaurant were in fact Korean, not Japanese. Ever since then I have tried to eat and understand this seemingly underrated Korean cuisine. I have never made or attempted any Korean dishes until now… Recently I picked up a copy of a new, oddly twisted food journal called Lucky Peach, the brainchild of David Chan of Momofuku fame. Inside is a wonderful introduction to the world of Kimchi. Kimchi is the comfort food for Koreans. So with this in mind I feverishly researched on the internet as to how to make a good Kimchi and soon decided to give David Chan’s white kimchi recipe a try.

What you need:

  • 1 Chinese cabbage.
  • 1 carrot julienned.
  • 6-8 cloves of peeled garlic.
  • A thumb sized piece of peeled ginger.
  • Another thumb sized piece of peeled ginger julienned.
  • 2 Tbsp salt.
  • 1 Tbsp sugar.
  • 1/4 cup soya sauce.
  • 1/4 cup vinegar.
  • 2-3 green onions roughly chopped.
  • 3/4 cup simple syrup.

How it’s done:

  • Quarter and rough chop the cabbage.
  • Add the salt and sugar and place in a covered bowl in the fridge overnight.
  • Drain off the excess moisture and rinse thoroughly.
  • Add garlic, peeled ginger, and syrup into a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the cabbage, pour over the garlic mixture and mix well.
  • Place in a clean canning jar and toss it into your fridge for at least a week.

The longer you leave it the more it will ferment and the flavour will change, so inspect regularly and use it when you are satisfied. Next week we will pull it out and create our very own Korean recipe. Have fun!

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