This summer, my family traveled to Korea and made many good memories there. Among them, personally, I really enjoyed making kimchi with my mom and I finally got her kimchi recipe to share with you. In my opinion, she makes the best kimchi ever. I wrote down her recipe with an exact amount of each ingredient, which made my mom a little frustrated because Korean mothers do not usually cook with a recipe, instead, they cook with their instinct. So, it is often hard to get the same result as them without careful measurements. Anyway, today I feel happy that I can share this treasure with you. So let’s get started.
Yield: 1 Gallon
Short Korean Lesson
- UmMa (엄마) = Mom
- EoMeoNi (어머니) = Mother (more respected word for Mom)
- 2 Large Napa Cabbages (5 Lb)
- 1½ Cups Coarse Sea Salt
- 1 Cup Green Onions
- 1 Cup Garlic Chives
Kimchi Pasate Ingredients:
- 2 Cups Water, 8 Dried Kelp Pieces (1×1 Inch)
- 1½ Cups Hot Pepper Powder
- ½ Cup Fuji Apple
- ½ Cup Asian Pear
- ½ Cup Onion
- 6 Garlic Cloves
- 2 Tbsp Sweet Rice or Short Grain Rice
- 2 Tbsp Salted Shrimp
- 2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
- ½ Tbsp Fish Sauce
- 1 tsp Ginger Syrup
The most important thing for delicious kimchi is to salt the cabbage with the proper amount of salt. Here’s how my mom did it: cut the bottom of 2 Napa cabbage heads (5 lbs) with a knife like this. Then peel the cabbage one leaf at a time like this.
Lightly wash the cabbage leaves in cold water and leave a little bit of water on the leaves. The extra water will help in the salting process.
I put the washed cabbage in a colander. Prepare a large stainless steel bowl big enough to mix together all of the ingredients with the two heads of cabbage. I bought this for about $26 at a Korean mart. If you make kimchi frequently, it would be nice to have a large bowl like this.
This is coarse salt, which is mainly used for salting cabbage and radishes when making kimchi. You see, the size of the salt is very big. For this recipe, we need about 1½ cups of coarse salt. Put the cabbage leaves in one layer across the bottom of the bowl. Grab a handful of salt and sprinkle it evenly over the cabbage. Then, put another layer of cabbage leaves across those and sprinkle the salt on them in the same way. Repeat this process for all the cabbage leaves. If you have leftover salt, sprinkle it all over the top.
I’m going to let the cabbage sit for about 2 hours. Turn the cabbage gently at intervals of 30 minutes. By doing this, your cabbage will get salted more evenly. (30 minutes later…) Let’s check the cabbage now. I can see that the water has already come out of the cabbage. I’ll mix up the cabbage a few times and continue to let it sit.
After an hour, you can make the kimchi paste. First, my mom uses kelp broth instead of water to add savory flavor to her Kimchi. Put 2 cups of water and 8 pieces of kelp into a small pot. When the water starts to boil, boil it for about 5 minutes on medium-high.
After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and discard the kelp. The color of the broth will be slightly brown and greenish.
Get 2 Tbsp of glutinous rice (which is used to make rice porridge). This is another important ingredient for good kimchi. I have already washed the rice and drained out the water. You can use short grain rice, glutinous rice flour, rice flour, or wheat flour instead of glutinous rice.
Put 1 cup of the kelp broth and washed rice in a blender and blend it for a few minutes until the rice gets very fine.
Then, pour the ground glutinous rice water into a pot and boil it on high. Occasionally stir it, to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Let’s prepare other ingredients while the porridge is boiling.
Chop ½ cup of an Asian pear, ½ cup of a Fuji apple, and ½ cup of an onion into chunks. We also need 2 Tbsp of salted shrimp, which you can find in the refrigerator section of a Korean grocery store.
Cut 1 cup worth of green onions into 1 inch pieces and 1 cup worth of garlic chives into 2 inch pieces. If you don’t have garlic chive, you can replace them with green onions, in which case you would cut up 2 cups worth of green onions.
Now add the chopped pear, apple, onion, 6 cloves of garlic, 2 Tbsp of salted shrimp, and 2 Tbsp of kelp broth into a blender. Blend it for about 1 minute or until everything gets blended well.
After the ground rice water starts to boil, boil it for 3 more minutes. The consistency of the porridge should be like this. It’s done now.
When the porridge is still warm, pour it into a large bowl and add 1½ cups of hot pepper powder, the fruit-veggie mixture, ½ Tbsp of fish sauce, and 1 teaspoon of ginger syrup. The ginger syrup is another secret ingredient in my mom’s delicious kimchi.
Mix all the ingredients together. Leave it set for a while so that all the flavors are well blended.
At first, the cabbage is crunchy, but after 2 hours, I can see that the leaves can be folded without breaking them. This is how you know that the cabbage is well salted.
At this time, the salt on the outside of the cabbage should be washed away. Rinse the salted cabbage twice in cold water.
Place the cabbage in a colander and let the leftover water drip off of the cabbage for about 30 minutes.
Then put the cabbage into the kimchi paste. I do not like to get the paste on my hands so I wear vinyl gloves on my hands like this. If you can do this with your bare hands, I give you my thumbs up. Anyway, mix the cabbage with the kimchi paste. ^^
After you’ve mixed the cabbage with the kimchi paste, add the green onion and the garlic chives.
Finally, sprinkle 2 Tbsp of sesame seeds on top. Now your delicious kimchi is ready to serve if you want to eat fresh kimchi.
Otherwise, put the kimchi in a glass container and leave it at room temperature for a day. Then, keep it in the refrigerator. In a week or two, the kimchi will be well fermented.
Make this delicious and easy kimchi at home and tell us what you think. Thanks go out to my mom who taught me how to make her awesome kimchi.
Today’s cooking tip is making ginger syrup.
When I made kimchi today, you saw that I put some ginger syrup in the kimchi paste. Ginger syrup can be used as a seasoning for a variety of Korean foods such as kimchi, fish dishes, vegetable sides, stews, and so on. It is also good to drink as a tea when you have a cold or sore throat. Once you’ve made it, it’s easy to use for a long time, so I wanted to teach you how to make it. Do not be surprised if it seems too simple. Hehe
First, prepare as much ginger as you want.
Use a small knife or spoon to gently peel off the skin by gently scraping it. Wash it once with water and cut them into chunks.
Put the prepared ginger in a blender and add a little water if necessary. Grind your ginger until it is completely ground.
Mix ginger and sugar in a 1: 1 ratio. I prepared 2 1⁄2 cups of ginger paste, so I will mix the same amount of sugar into it.
Place the ginger syrup in a glass bottle that has been sterilized once in hot water. Then store it in your refrigerator. It will last for several months.
If you do not have ginger syrup to use in your kimchi, you can put a thumbnail size of fresh ginger in your blender when you blend the garlic and other ingredients. Then, add some sugar into your kimchi paste according to your tastes.
Did you enjoy my mom’s kimchi recipe and my cooking tip? If you did, please give me a thumbs up.