Chinese Cabbage Post Two: Cabbage Kimchee

Ok, this will be my last post of the evening. I am totally going to do this tomorrow. I only have daikon kimchee in the frig right now, so I’m going to try my hand at the real deal. This seems easy enough.

So, my thinking is this: 1/4 of cabbage for korean pancakes, 1/2 for kimchee and 1/4 for a stir fry with soba noddles & a poached egg.

Sourced from one of my favorite blogs: (Please note: this recipe is from another cookbook-ha!)

Cabbage Kimchee
From Madhur Jaffrey’s World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking, p 379

1 pound Chinese cabbage (about 1/2 a large head)
1 pound white radish (daikon)
3 Tablespoons salt
2 Tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
5 scallions, cut into fine rounds, including green
1 Tablespoon cayenne or hot Korean red pepper
1 teaspoon sugar

If you are using a small whole cabbage, cut it in half lengthwise, and then cut it across at 2-inch intervals. If you are using half of a large cabbage, cut it in half again lengthwise, and then crosswise at 2-inch intervals.

Peel the white radish (I don’t – LL), cut it in half lengthwise, and then cut it crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. In a large bowl put 5 cups water and 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of the salt. Mix. Add the cabbage and radish to this water and dunk them in a few times, as they have a tendency to float. Leave the vegetables in the salty water. Cover loosely and set aside for 12 hours. Turn the vegetables over a few times.

Put the ginger, garlic, scallions, cayenne, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in another large bowl. Mix well.
Take the cabbage out of its soaking liquid with a slotted spoon (save the liquid) and put it in the bowl with the seasonings. Mix well.

Put this cabbage mixture into a 2-quart jar or crock. Pour enough of the salt water over it to cover the vegetables (about 2 cups). Leave 1 inch of empty space at the top of the jar. Cover loosely with a clean cloth and set aside for 3 to 7 days. In the summer, kimchees mature with much greater speed; in the winter, the process slows down unless the central heating is ferocious. Taste the pickle after 3 days to check on the sourness. When it is done to your liking, cover the jar and refrigerate.

To serve, remove just as much of the kimchee solids as you think you will need for a meal – a cupful is enough for 4 people – and put it in the center of a bowl. The kimchee liquid in this pickle is left behind in the jar and may be used to flavor stews and soups. Serve this cabbage kimchee with any Korean meal.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Christina says:

    I should also add that I use cabbage kimchee in fritatas- weekly. Miles LOVES it. The egg softens the sharpness of the pickling but keeps the salty flavor. I don’t stay strictly korean flavors with the fritata- I add carrots and cherry tomatoes to it too. Just a thought- I can see from my two posts that I’m on a one-track mind with the Korean recipes…

    1. Leslie says:

      Okay, I’ve never had kimchee and I want to try this. It looks like I should use just half of the giant cabbage we got? Also, I don’t like radishes so I gave mine to Manon–can it be made without them? Last, is it really spicy? Should i use red pepper flakes or powdered cayenne pepper? Miles doesn’t find it to hot? My hope is Lainey will eat it!

      1. Christina says:

        Yay! I used 3/4 of the head…I know the recipe calls for 1/2. Second, don’t use as much red pepper flakes. It will be more “pickled cabbage” flavor then spicy. Miles eats kimchee in stuff- like a fritata, korean pancake or stir fry. Cooking it cuts down on the spice. Chuck & I eat it straight outta of the jar. Koreans eat kimchee as a constant side dish- its ALWAYS served. You eat it plain (in small amount), put it in your soup, put it on your korean pancakes, whatever. When we visit Tok Yon, Chuck’s mom, there is always a small bowl on the table. I have been wanting to get Tok Yon’s recipe… I don’t know if she would give it up. I do know that for the salt soak Yon rubs salt straight on the cabbage and lets it rest. Does this help Les?

      2. Christina says:

        Oh, I forgot to answer your radish question. Tok Yon’s cabbage kimchee does NOT have radish in it. She makes a radish kimchee separate–it has a different name something like Cockdogee– obviously i don’t know the proper spelling- ha! 🙂 So no, you won’t be missing anything without the radishes. You could replace the radishes with carrots if you’re feeling adventurous!!! ohhh… I betcha that would be awesome 😉 try it pretty please…

      3. Leslie says:

        okay, plan of attack is to start tomorrow afternoon. and i’ll add carrots. 🙂 and i’ll cross my fingers that it won’t be a miserable failure. 🙂

  2. Christina says:

    honestly, I don’t think it can be a failure….at least in my book everything pickled is awesome. Again, if anything, you’ll have pickled cabbage that you can put into the stir frys you are already making- hahaha! I would use only 1/2 of the head since this is a trial run… although I don’t know what I’m talking about, this is my very first patch of kimchee too… I’m no expert. But I must admit I’ve become quiet an expert in eating kimchee.

    1. Sarah F says:

      So as you can imagine we still have half of our cabbage left from last week’s share. The outside is kind of wilty (is that a word?) but not the inside. I think I’m gonna mix up some kimchee tomorrow. Dan was pretty anti, apparently he’s not all that adventurous, but It’s either pickle it or send it to the compost. So pickling it is!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

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