It’s that time of year to ferment. Chef Sang Kim gives us a little kimchi 101 using napa cabbage traditionally.
Halve the cabbages.
Sprinkle half a cup of salt on all parts of the cabbage.
Rub extra salt on the hardcore and on the thicker part of the leaves
Stack the halved (or quartered) cabbages in a large stainless bowl or stock pot.
Let the cabbage dry brine in the bowl or pot as is for 30 to 40 minutes
Fill the bowl or pot with cold water and dissolve the remaining half a cup of salt in the water.
Place something heavy on top of the floating cabbages to keep them submerged under water. Unused volumes of an encyclopedia will do.
Let it brine while you sleep (eight to 10 hours) you want to be sure the thickest outer leaves are wilted. If still firm, keep it in the brine for an additional hour or so. The colours of the cabbage will be bright green and yellow.
Prepare an ice bath.
In a bowl, whisk the sweet rice flour into a quarter cup of water.
In a small saucepan, bring three-quarters of a cup of water to a boil.
Add rice flour mixture to the boiling water and stir until the mixture thickens, and turns gluey.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and lay it on the ice bath.
Bring the mixture to room temperature by stirring it. Do not use it until it has sufficiently cooled.
In a food processor, pulse baby shrimp, anchovy sauce, minced garlic, scallions, grated ginger, sugar, Asian pear and water.
Mix in porridge paste.
Put on gloves and mix in chile pepper flakes and julienned daikon radish with the seasoning paste. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes.
Spread porridge on cabbage, this porridge acts as glue for the seasoning paste.
Spread seasoning paste on cabbage on top of porridge.
Let the cabbage sit with porridge and season for one or two days. Serve and enjoy!
TIP: Save kimchi mixture for one week to three months.