Today I’m sharing my traditional style of Korean Napa Cabbage Kimchi Recipe! 😀
There are a few ways to make traditional kimchi, but my kimchi recipe is what my grandma, my mom, and most of the Korean family make when it’s kimchi season. (Yes, there is kimchi season when everyone starts making kimchi! It’s around Nov.)
It takes lots of your time and care but that’s why it’s so good and delicious! Totally worth it, hands down!
I always prefer to learn (anything!) in action and I believe in cooking you should learn by action, not by reading. Because there are so many steps and actions that words can’t explain enough! When you see it once, you will understand what I’m talking about! If you like my Real Korean Napa Cabbage Kimchi Recipe, please share it with your friends and family via your social network!
If you liked my traditional type of kimchi recipe, please let me know!
Also if you would like to see some shorter & easier version of my Napa Cabbage Kimchi Recipe, please let me know by leave a comment down below! 😀
For Salted Cabbage
- 3 cups Korean kimchi sea saltor flake sea salt
- 3 Large size(alb. to 6lb.) Napa Cabbages, total about 18 lb, quartered
- 24 cups Room temperature water
For Kimchi Paste
- 2 1/4 cup water
- 4 oz. Dried pollack (approximately 1/4 cup)
- 1 Sheet of 5”x 5”dried seaweed (Konbu/Dahsima)
- 1 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
- 1 1/4 cup Good quality fish sauce
- 3 Tbs. Korean salted shrimp (Saewoo-Jeot. You can substitute to Thai fermented shrimp paste)
- 1 Tbs. Sugar
- 1 Tbs. Kosher sea salt
- 25 Garlic cloves (approximately 2/3 cup)
- 1 Thumb size ginger, sliced (approximately 1 1/2 Tbs.)
- 1/2 Onion, quartered (approximately 1cup)
- 1 Apple, quartered & seeded (approximately 1 1/2 cup)
- 3 to 5 Red chili, roughly sliced (approximately 1 1/2 cup)
- 3 cupsgochugaru, Korean red pepper flakes
For Kimchi Filling Vegetables
- 1 Medium size(2lb.) Korean radish, thinly julienne (approximately 8 cups)
- 6 to 8 Green onions, cut in halves lengthwise then cut into 1” long pieces (approximately 2 1/2 cup)
Optional choices of Vegetables (You can add these in this recipe or skip it)
- 1 bunch of Korean mustard, cut into 1” long pieces (approximately 4 cups)
- 1 bunch Water parsley(water celery Minari), cut into 1” long pieces (approximately 2 cups)
- 1 bunch Garlic chive, cut into 1” long pieces (approximately 2 cups)
- Separate salt into two parts, 1/4 cup and 3/4 cup, and wet your cabbage with water. In your sink or XXL, size basin adds 24 cups water and 2 1/4 cups sea salt and stir to let the salt dissolve into water.
- Grab a quartered cabbage and sprinkle the remaining salt on every layer of cabbage, a small pinch at a time. Make sure most of the salt is on the stem part. Repeat and place in a clean sink or a large basin until all the cabbage’s done and the salt is gone. If you need more salt, use 1Tbs. at a time, but trying to stick with the amount of this recipe calls.
- Pour salted water we made earlier over cabbages. Salt down cabbage for about 7 to 9 hours if it’s 60 degrees and below(fall to winter time), 4 to 5 hours if it’s 60 degrees and higher(summer time). Rotate cabbages to salt evenly, once or twice for the whole entire process of salting.
- Check if the cabbage has salted enough by bending the thick stem part. If it snaps, it’s not ready so soak more, if it bends nicely then it’s ready to rinse.
- Rinse at least 3 times thoroughly and move to a large strainer and drain about an hour before filling up with kimchi filling.
- Meanwhile, let’s make kimchi paste! In a small saucepan, add water, dried pollack, seaweed, and shiitake. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and take solid ingredients out. Check if the broth is 2cups. If it’s less, add water to make 2 cups.
- Return to heat, add rice flour, and whisk. Bring it to a soft boil over medium-high heat and keep whisking for 2 minutes. Cook rice flour is a very important process, it depends on how kimchi will ferment later on. Remove from heat and cool completely.
- In a blender add all ingredients for kimchi paste as well as rice flour porridge except Gochugaru(Korean red pepper flakes- we don’t want them to break down too much). Blend away until it has combined well and smooth.
- Before getting your hands to get dirty with the sauce, cover your kimchi container with a plastic cookie/treat bag or 2.5-gallon ziplock bag to prevent kimchi’s smell/color soak into the container. It will prevent the kimchi’s strong smell to take over your refrigerator as well. 😉
In an XL basin or mixing bowl, combine kimchi paste, Gochugaru and filling vegetables with your hand(please wear a pair of gloves, it’s spicy!).
- Take one-quarter of cabbage at a time, hold cabbage with the left hand, and grab the filling with the right hand. Brush down inside of salted cabbage with filling and leave some vegetable pieces, not too much but not too less- just enough. (Please watch my tutorial video for this part to understand better.) Switch the hands if you are left-handed. Wrap nice and tight and place to prepare the container. Repeat until cabbage and filling has gone.
- Tie the plastic bag first with a rubber band and lose the container with the lid tightly. Place kimchi on your counter for 24 to 40 hours and then place it in a refrigerator.
Enjoy homemade kimchi at home!