I FINALLY KNOW HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE KIMCHI!!
My friend’s Korean mother came over to my house and taught me how to make homemade kimchi and I am forever grateful.
I eat so much kimchi. I buy bags of them at the Asian mart and they aren’t cheap. One bag is about $13 and it only lasts me about a week.
I also love incorporating kimchi into a variety of dishes.
What is kimchi?
Kimchi or kimchee is a staple traditional Korean side dish made of fermented and salted Napa cabbage and radish.
What does it taste like?
It has a multitude of flavors. The prominent flavors are garlicky, sour, and spicy.
Is it really spicy?
Depends on what kind of kimchi you make and/or buy. Some can be really spicy but with homemade kimchi you can tailor it to your spice level.
Why is it spelled kimchi and kimchee?
Kimchee is the traditional way that South Koreans spell it. Apparently ‘kimchi’ was made up from Japanese and it’s some kind of word-war.
Why is homemade kimchi better than store-bought?
- So much cheaper (cost-effective)
- You can make it your own
- You can share with friends and family
- It’s fun!
Can you use American cabbage?
No, it won’t be the same.
Can I use gochujang instead of the red pepper powder?
No, no, no.
Can I use regular salt?
In the video, Chunok told me that you should try to get coarse sea salt and not salt like Morton’s or Diamond kosher salt because it makes the cabbage too soft and wilted and pulls out too much moisture so you’ll have a lot more liquid.
So definitely look for coarse sea salt granules.
What if I can’t find the red pepper powder?
I know for sure they have it on Amazon.
How do I get my homemade kimchi more sour tasting like what I’m used to?
Leave it out longer before you put it in the fridge.
How do I get my homemade kimchi less sour? It’s too pungent for me.
Put it in the fridge earlier. Leave it overnight after you’ve made it and then put it in the fridge in the morning.
What if I don’t have a blender?
You can use a food processor.
What types of jars did you use for your homemade kimchi?
I bought wide mouth half gallon jars. The wide mouth jars make stuffing the kimchi into the jars a lot easier.
Watch us make homemade kimchi and then make it yourself!
Thank you so much Chun Ok for showing me and everyone how to make homemade kimchi! This will be a forever treasured gift.
Homemade Kimchi (Kimchee)
For the cabbage:
- 5 pounds napa cabbage, cut into 1-inch, bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- 1 cup water
Seasonings for kimchi:
- 1/2 medium sweet onion
- 1 bulb garlic, peeled
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup red pepper powder
- 1 bundle green onions, julienned
- Place cabbage in a very large bowl. Mix together sea salt and water and stir until sea salt has dissolved. Pour over cabbage and mix together with your hands. Let sit for 1.5-2 hours.
- In the meantime, blend together onion and garlic with 1/4 cup water to create a puree. Pour into a medium bowl then mix together with red pepper powder and green onions. If you are making a separate radish kimchi, save a bit of this mixture for the radish kimchi.
- Once the cabbage has significantly wilted, rinse cabbage to get most of the salt water off. Place back into the very large bowl then toss the cabbage with the red pepper seasoning mixture until well-coated.
- Place seasoned kimchi into a large mason jar and using your fist, punch down the cabbage to compress it all in the jar. Keep stuffing the jar until it's completely full and use another jar, if needed.
- Tightly close the lid on the mason jar(s) and leave out at room temperature overnight. Taste the kimchi the next day and if you prefer to have it more sour, leave out for another day or more. If you think it tastes fine after it has sat out overnight the first night, place in the fridge.
- Kimchi can last for a very long time in the fridge because it's a fermented dish. I would say probably no more than one year though, but that's just me haha ;)