Active time: 10 minutes
Brine time: 1-2 hours
Fermenting time: 1-5 days
Makes: 1 quart of kimchi
1 medium head napa cabbage (about 2-2.5 pounds)
1/4 cup kosher salt
Water (preferably filtered)
1 tablespoon grated garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
Gloves (optional) for mixing
1 quart glass jar with lid
Bowl or container to place under jar to catch leaks
1. Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips.
2. Place the cabbage and salt in a large bowl. Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften a bit, then add water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy, like a jar or can of beans. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours.
3. Pour the cabbage into a colander, and rinse well with clean water. Set aside to drain for 15-20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, combine the garlic, ginger, sugar, fish sauce, and gochugaru in a small bowl and mix to form a smooth paste.
5. Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and place in a clean bowl. Add seasoning paste and scallions. Mix well with your hands (gloved, if desired).
6. Pack the kimchi into the jar, pressing down on it until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave at least 1 inch of headspace. Seal the jar with the lid.
7. Place the jar in a bowl of container to catch any leaks and let stand at room temperature for 1 to 5 days. You may see bubbles inside the jar and brine may seep out of the lid.
8. Check the kimchi once a day. Be careful when opening the lid, as the brine can spray out of the top. Press down on the vegetables with a clean finger or spoon to keep them submerged under the brine. When the kimchi tastes ripe enough for your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator (I transferred to the refrigerator after 3 days). You may eat it right away, but it’s best after sitting in the fridge another week or two.
Recipe adapted from The Kitchnby