|My first attempt at making kimchi! Will find out how it tastes in about a week|
|Chives, garlic, ginger, red pepper powder, daikon in the bowl|
|Mixing the rice paste into the sauce|
The sauce is straight forward -- in a large bowl throw in all the garlic, ginger, chives, daikon, and about 1 1/4 cup of Korean red pepper -- the coarse kind -- otherwise it could turn out to be much spicier than you expect! 1/4 cup fish sauce and 2 tablespoons of fermented baby shrimp, and 1/4 cup roasted sesame seeds. Then we added some salt to taste. You could also add thinly sliced carrots for an extra crunch.
A rice paste also needs to be made, mixing sweet rice flour with hot water and constantly stirring it over high heat so that it will thicken. This needs to be cooled down before it is added to the spicy red mixture.
Once it is mixed in, then it's time to put on plastic gloves and take the cabbage that has been cut into quarters, squeeze out the excess water and then use your hands to slather the red spicy mixture onto each leaf.
|Adding the spicy mixture to each cabbage leaf|
Squish squish squish.
Our jars were not large and so we were only able to squeeze in that one-quarter cabbage and maybe a few extra leaves. She warned us to leave some room at the top otherwise your jar of kimchi could explode! Park said it happened to her once and it was not a pretty sight...
So she suggested we could open our jars once a day as the kimchi fermented at room temperature to avoid the gas buildup at the top. Since it's relatively warm these days, the fermentation process will be quite fast, so Park advised we could leave the jars outside for about two days and then put it in the fridge. It will continue to ferment there, but not as fast. We have to wait about a week to be able to eat it.
It was lots of fun making it, and it's definitely one of those events where it's less of a task when a group of friends get together to prepare it, much like making jiaozi, or dumplings.
We'll see how my kimchi fares and if it works out I'd been keen to try making it again! Fermentation is the rage these days, and anything homemade taste even better... right?