Food preserving is part of food microbiology and since ancient time, mankind has been really clever when it comes to cultivating ways and methods to preserve food for storage and to get them through the change of climates and weathers. Koreans are one of the few great food scientists which came up with one of the most amazing side dish ever; the kimchi. Packed with all goodness of lactobacillus and rich in flavour, the sophisticated taste from kimchi is produced with very simple and affordable ingredients. And while there were so many types of kimchi, they all do not stray far from the basic techniques of brining and fermenting.
Along with amazing nutritional value, kimchi can also be used as ingredients to produce many other delicious dishes. Koreans cannot live without kimchi and would eat it with anything. If you have been following my blog, you would have remembered me mentioning about how kimchi is even included in the pizza delivery in Korea. Today I share with you the simplest kimchi you can make at any time with the most basic ingredients.
1 head Chinese cabbage (approximately 700g-1kg)
Coarse salt -150g
Chili powder- 35g
Fish sauce – 45g
Onion – 50g
Salt -1 tbs
Sugar -1 tbs
Garlic – 4 cloves
Ginger – 1/2 inch (1 knob) peeled and minced
*Pear -1 large
Spring onions (scallion) – 5
*pear also serves as sugar source for bacteria. Can be substituted with sugar but I prefer pear.
1.Wash and cut divide the cabbage into 4 vertically but packing chili mix in between the leaves later would be slightly more troublesome for beginners. Try cutting them to bite sizes about 1-1.5 inches. This method is simpler to mix and toss other ingredients.
2. Sprinkle liberally with coarse salt and let cabbage sit for 4 hours.
After the 4 hours witting, wash and rinse off the salt
4. Process garlic, ginger, pear, chili powder, salt , fish sauce and sugar into paste.
5. Mix paste and spring onion into wilted cut cabbages and pack it in airtight container (Or packed paste between witted leaves). Leave in room temperature at cooler place for 1-2 days before storing in fridge.
Kimchi can be kept in fridge for up to 6 months and above but this portion finishes real quick depending on how often you eat them. I eat it almost every other day. So I usually make a lot more than this. But for beginner, do try this simple recipe. The first few times may vary in taste but after a couple of attempts, you’ll fine tune the recipe accordingly to your preference. Happy trying.
Next time I’ll share some dishes recipe with kimchi in it. Have fun experimenting!
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