I would like to share a recipe of Kimchi today! Kimchi is the most popular Korean side dish. If you go to Korean restaurants, Kimchi usually comes out for free, and a good combination with every Korean dishes. You can even cook other dishes with Kimchi, for instance, Kimchi fried rice, Kimchi stew, Kimchi dumpling or Kimchi ramen. I will share the recipes of Kimchi dishes in the future. In this post, I will share a recipe Kimchi so you can make it at home.
History of Kimchi:
First of all, you may wonder what Kimchi exactly is or how it started. If you learn about Kimchi, you would enjoy it much better.
Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish of salted and fermented vegetables, not only nap cabbages, but there are also scallion Kimchi, radish Kimchi, cabbage Kimchi, etc. If you expect the Kimchi are all spicy, the answer is no! We have also non-spicy Kimchi. It is called white Kimchi.
Anyway, Kimchi is usually mixing with a seasoning that is combined with Korean Chili Powder, Scallions, Garlic, ginger, Korean fish sauce or salted fish, etc.
There was no a refrigerator at that time and they couldn’t harvest vegetables during winter. Therefore, Koreans pickled vegetables with the seasoning and put it in traditional brown ceramic pots called Onggi and store in a ground so they could eat vegetables long last. Onggi is a great container to maintain temperate. They dug a ground and stored the Kimchi in the ground during winter season because the ground prevents freezing and keep it cool enough to slow down the fermentation process during summer.
Koreans also invested Kimchi refrigerators that help the Kimchi keep in high quality these days.
As I mentioned above, we have non-spicy Kimchi. Historical versions of Kimchi was not a spicy dish. Koreans didn’t add garlic or chili pepper in the beginning. They started adding chili pepper since the Portuguese traders introduced the chili pepper to East Asia in the early 17 century.
Nutrition of Kimchi:
Kimchi contains a lot of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that gives you important health benefits. For example, Choline is found in Kimchi, helps maintain your cells, muscles, nervous system, and even memory. Kimchi is also rich in vitamin K, helps your blood clot and healthy bones. Kimchi is also low calorie food, a one-cup serving of Kimchi contains only 23 kcal.
Since Kimchi is a fermented food, contains an excellent probiotics. The same healthy lactobacilli bacteria found in fermented dairy products like yogurt and cheese are also found in Kimchi. The bacteria helps you maintain your healthy digestive health.
The probiotics in Kimchi also help you maintain healthy heart by reducing cholesterol and inflammation. Studies found that Kimchi can also reduce a risk of atherosclerosis.
I hope the history and nutrition information helps you understanding the dish and now let’s get into how to make Kimchi!
- 2 whole Napa Cabbages (You can easily find it at any Korean markets)
- Scallions (as much you like)
- Chives (Optional) (as much you like)
- 1 whole Carrot (Optional)
For salting the Napa Cabbages:
- 360 ml of Water
- 1 tbsp of salt
- 1 tbsp of sugar
- 1 whole Onion
- 1 tbsp of Minced Garlic
- 10g of Ginger
- 1 whole Green Onion
- 5 tbsp of Chili Pepper (Add less chili peppers if you want less spicy)
- 5 tbsp of Korean Tuna or Sandlance Fish Sauce (멸치 액젓 또는 까나리 액젓)
- 2 tbsp of Oligo Syrup or Corn Syrup
- 1/2 tbsp of Sugar
- 100g of Cooked White Rice
- 1 tbsp of Plum Syrup or 1 tbsp of Sugar
- 1/2 Asian Pear (Optional)
1. Salting the napa cabbages:
- Cut down the wick of the napa cabbages and separate leaves.
- Rinse out the leaves with running water and transfer it to a cutting board.
- Cut the leaves in diagonal.
- In a large bowl, add and mix water, salt, and sugar until the sugar and salt are melted.
- Add the cut cabbages into the mixture and combine it with your hands or a tong. Sit it for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, and mix the mixture and cabbages again like turning it down, and sit it for another 1 hour. (The cabbages will become soft)
- Discard the water mixture and squeeze out the excess water.
- Leave the cabbages in the bowl.
2. Make the seasoning:
- While salting the cabbages, prep the seasoning.
- In a food processor or blender, add all the ingredients for seasoning and blend it until smooth.
3. Prep additional vegetables (Optional):
- Slice carrots in about 1/2 inch.
- Cut chives and scallions in 1/2 inch.
- Add them into the bowl that the cabbages are stored.
- Combine the well-squeezed out cabbages, the seasoning, and the additional vegetables in the large bowl, mixing well with your hands.
- Put it in containers and store it in your refrigerator and enjoy every time you want.
- If you want a sour Kimchi, let it is fermented for about 1 month in the refrigerator. The Kimchi will become sour and less crunchy.
If you make Kimchi at home, you absolutely cost less and more delicious!
Please try to make it yourself, you would love the recipe.
Thank you for reading:)