At Jar Store, we love talking about food that you can make in jars, store in jars, or eat out of jars! We’ve covered everything from baby food, to pumpkin pie filling, and even gourmet lemonade and simple syrup!
Today, we’re going to talk about kimchi, a bit of a deviation from our normal recipes, but one that we think a lot of you will really enjoy.
What is Kimchi?
Kimchi has been around for over 4,000 years, so if you haven’t tried it yet, what’s your excuse? You’ve had four millennia to get your hands on this stuff, and you’re just now looking for a recipe!
No worries, better late than never, after all!
Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish that is typically made from fermented napa cabbage along with other vegetables and spices. This dish is such a staple in Korean cuisine, that many individuals in Korea eat it every single day. If it’s that popular, it must be good, right?
Now, a lot of people hear the word “fermented” and get a little squeamish, but fear not, if you’re wondering what kimchi tastes like, it’s a little salty and spicy with a bit of umami flavor. It’s a bit pungent, but not in a bad way.
Kimchi Ingredients: What You’ll Need
Some of the ingredients can be a bit hard to find at your average American corner store, so if you have an Asian market or grocery store, check there!
First things first, you’ll need to get your hands on some canning jars. Lucky for you, you’re in the right place!
Your main ingredients are going to be salt and cabbage.
- 9 pounds napa cabbage
- 16 cups water
- 5 cups coarse sea salt
- 5 cups cooking salt
We’re then going to pair the brined, salty cabbage with a flavorful paste.
- 2 tbsp glutinous rice flour
- 5 cups water
- 5 cups Korean chili flake
- 19 oz julienned Korean radish
- 5 oz Korean fish sauce
- 3 oz chopped chives
- 5 oz julienned carrots
- 25 cup minced garlic
- 5 tbsp minced ginger
- 2 tbsp raw sugar
- 2.5 oz minced onion
How to Make Kimchi: What You’ll Do
We’ll first cover pickling and preparing the cabbage.
- Cut your cabbage lengthwise into quarters and clean it in the sink with cold water.
- In a large bowl filled with water, dissolve your coarse salt.
- Dip your cabbage into the salt water one quarter at a time, and lay the quartered pieces to the side. (Save the salt water for later!)
- Liberally salt each piece of cabbage with your cooking salt, using about half a cup of salt in total. Make sure you rub the entire cabbage, including between the leaves and on the stem.
- Place the cabbage wedge side up in a large plastic bag, and pour in the saltwater from earlier.
- Tie the bag closed, and wait for the cabbage to pickle (between 6 and 8 hours).
- Come back every two hours or so and flip the bag upside down, to make sure that there is an even distribution of salt water.
- After at least 6 hours have passed, remove the cabbage from the bag.
- Place your cabbage in a colander or sifter, and run cold water over them to rinse off the remaining salt.
- Leave the cabbage in the colander for about an hour, so it can drain.
Next, we’ll prepare our rice paste. This part is easy!
- Mix your rice flour with 1.5 cups of water in a saucepan, and bring it to a boil for about 6.5 minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl, and mix in your Korean chili flakes
- In a larger bowl, mix your radish, sea salt, and Korean fish sauce, and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
After it’s sat, add in your chives, carrots, garlic, ginger, sugar, onion, and the thickened rice flour mixture. Mix it all well.
Now that both major parts are made, we can add them together!
- Take one of your cabbage quarters and place it on your workplace. Ideally, a large cutting board or metal tray.
- Leaving the leaves attached to the stem, spread your seasoning mixture over one side of each leaf.
- Transfer the kimchi into airtight canning jars with the lids firmly affixed, and leave it out at room temperature for 24 hours.
- After a day has passed, transfer your jars to the refrigerator.
You’re done! You made kimchi, a 4,000-year-old delicacy. Rejoice in the fact that you’re taking the same exact steps to make a dish that people have been making for centuries. It’s honestly a bit strange, someone first did this thousands of years ago, and now we’re here following in their footsteps! They must’ve really nailed it, since people are still eating this today!
Did you enjoy our recipe? Let us know! Send us some photos on Instagram or Facebook, or tag us on Pinterest! We love to see our jars put to good use, so we’re super excited to see your homemade kimchi!