Recipe: Simple Homemade Kimchi

kimchiFermented foods, such as kimchi, contain probiotics that support digestion. Fermenting at home can be intimidating, but with a little experience, you can let the microbes do the work for you! Makes 2 pints.

  • 1 head of napa cabbage, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon kosher or pickling salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and diced (about one 3-inch bulb)
  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • 1/4 cup fresh or about 9-10 small dried peppers/chilis, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 1 medium daikon radish, grated
  • 1 bunch green onion, chopped

Place cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1/4 cup salt. Add water to cover cabbage, stir until salt dissolves, and allow to sit for 20 minutes. Drain cabbage and pat dry.

While the cabbage is in the salt water, blend remaining 1 tablespoon salt and all other ingredients except for carrots, daikon, and green onion in a food processor until a paste is formed.

Toss cabbage with carrots, daikon, green onion, and enough paste to coat ingredients.

Place into large glass or ceramic vessel. Press down firmly with clean hands to allow juices to escape. If expelled water does not completely cover cabbage, use a clean heavy bowl or plastic bag filled with water to ensure it stays underwater.

Allow to ferment at room temperature for 3-5 days until desired flavor is reached. Move to refrigerator and enjoy for up to 5 weeks.