Friday, February 12, 2010

My Home-made Kim Chi

Kim to the Chi!

If you've been following my blog you know how much I've been craving homemade Korean kimchee.

I developed a taste for kim chi in high school while living in Japan. All of my close friends from that time in my life are of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese descent so I experienced a lot of delicious, authentic oriental dishes and I miss them (and my friends).

Now that I'm in Texas I can't find kim chi anywhere so I learned how to make it from scratch at Koreancuisine (Anna Kim) on YouTube! I've been eating it plain on top of steamed Kokuho Rose rice, spooning it into my Roo Hoo Rook Korean noodles, and making kim chi potato salad. I still have quite a bit left to use up so I'm constantly searching for more recipes to incorporate the kim chi!

Okay, back to my homemade recipe, the first thing you have to do after you've chopped all your veggies is soak the cabbage in salt water (brine) to pickle it, the process not only leaves a tasty amount of salt within the leaves but causes them to remain crunchy. I bought a big beverage party-bucket to soak my Napa cabbage in and it worked great! The chopped cabbage soaks for two hours then you rinse it in fresh water. It is imperative that you remember to rinse your cabbage three or four times in fresh water after it has soaked in the salt solution or it will be entirely too salty to eat. While it's soaking you get to make the "good stuff" which is a mixture of chopped green onion, daikon (Korean radish), and a sauce of apple, apple pear, garlic, ginger, and salty fish sauce (or anchovy sauce). Sounds pretty crazy, huh? It's so good!

I used my food processor to puree the sauce. It looks like applesauce when it's done but it sure doesn't smell like applesauce! I didn't have any daikon so I substituted red radishes (not the same but they will do in a pinch). Next time I make kim chi I'll be sure to have the correct type of radish, although Anna Kim did mention in her video that you can use any type of radish in the recipe. The puree, the chopped green onions, and the radish are mixed together by hand (wear rubber gloves) to complete the sauce for the kim chi.

If you suffer from heartburn while eating spicy foods you better take your antacid medicine before eating kim chi! Anna's recipe calls for 1 1/4 C of red pepper flakes! Oooo, yeah, you better believe that's hot stuff. I love it but I'm one of the lucky people who can eat spicy without detriment. Keep in mind it's a side dish and served in small portions with rice or a meal so a little goes a long way. After I rinsed my Napa cabbage and mixed the sauce into it, I spread it out in a 9x13 inch dish, covered it over with cling wrap and then put the lid on my casserole dish to sit overnight at room temperature. This allows the fermentation process to occur. Think of it as "ripening". Store the kim chi in the refrigerator for three days before eating. You can eat it right away but it will not achieve full flavor until it's allowed to chill.

Here's the recipe by Anna Kim:


  1. It looks so pretty! Your photos are fabulous. I'm not a big kimchi fan, but I'd like to try that kimchi potato salad. Those noodles look yum, too. Love you!

  2. The kim chi potato salad is pretty darn good. It's very simple and only uses a little bit of kim chi so it appeals to everyone. The kim chi is like a "relish" so it's not overpowering. :)

    Love you too!

  3. My husband is a huge fan of Kim chi. Thanks for the video. I'll have to try it sometime to surprise my hubby.

  4. Oh please let me know if you try and make it! My first try turned out really well with the tutelage of Anna's video. :) I'm making it again and this time reserving some for my dad who likes kim chi too.