Sunday, 29 August 2010

Kimchi - Korean Pickled Cabbage

I tried making my first kimchi last week. Feeling encouraged by the good result, I made another batch a few days ago - actually this time for my MIL because she LOVES kimchi. Now that I know how to make kimchi myself, I don't have to buy it anymore from the local Asian grocery store - all thanks to Maangchi! I think her site is always the first place I visit everytime I want to cook something Korean. It's extremely hard finding Korean food here, I know 2 Korean restaurants around and the foods there are very expensive (well, they've got no competition...!) and the quality is not always the best. So, her recipes and especially videos are very helpful.

(Original recipe can be found here.)
  • 2 Napa cabbages, cut into bite size pieces
  • App. 1 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup glutinous rice flour (if you don't have this, change with tapioca flour or normal all purpose-flour)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4-6 cups hot pepper flakes
  • 1 cup fish sauce
  • 1 cup minced garlic
  • 1 tbs minced ginger
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 tbs sambal oelek (optional)
  • 1 cup green onions, cut into 7 cm pieces
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned
What to do
  • Soak the cabbage pieces in water, drain and transfer them to a big bowl.
  • Sprinkle the cabbage with salt. Make sure all sides are salted.
  • Turn over the cabbage pieces every 30 minutes. This process takes 1.5 hours.
  • After 1.5 hours, rinse the cabbage in water - make sure you get rid of the salt covering the cabbage. Drain and set aside.
  • Kimchi paste: combine the glutinous rice flour and water together and mix it well. Cook this mixture under medium heat. You have to keep stirring (very important) until it gets thick and somehow sticky and translucent like glue.
  • Transfer this mixture into a bowl.
  • Add sugar and mix well.
  • Add fish sauce, hot pepper flakes, minced garlic, ginger and onion.
  • Add sambal oelek, green onions and carrots. Mix everything well. Keep tasting the paste, and adjust to your liking.
  • The last thing to do is to add the cabbage pieces into the kimchi paste.
  • Mix, mix, mix...and your kimchi is ready! Keep it in an airtight container and save it in the fridge until you want to savour it another time...:)!
Video from Maangchi. Watch and you're one step nearer to making kimchi yourself at home...!


I think one thing that you have to take care of the most is to make sure that the flour+water mixture has a porridge consistency after you cook it, if not, the kimchi sauce is going to taste horrible. I saw several comments in Maangchi's website asking why their kimchi turned out too salty or too hot - I think this might be because they didn't rinse the salted cabbage before they dumped it into the kimchi paste. I think it's also important to check out the taste of the kimchi paste yourself and adjust it to your liking. If it's too salty, add a bit of water. If it's too hot, add a bit of sugar, etc. It's as simple as it is.

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  1. Your picture, especially the background, looks really pretty. Your kimchi looks good too. Personally, I don't really like kimchi (I only tried it once). Supposedly it has a lot of health benefits. If I ever feel like making kimchi, I will definitely use your recipe. :)

  2. @ Esther - I like kimchi a lot. I don't normally eat it just like that, but I use it for fried rice, Korean pancakes or dumplings, taste great in these combinations. The background is actually my curtain...;)!

  3. Haha, then I like your curtains. I never knew you could make pancakes and dumplings with kimchi. My family just usually eats it by itself, maybe with some rice.

  4. @ Esther - Yes, you certainly can and they are great! Check out some recipes from the site I mentioned above: Maangchi's site, or you can check my previous post "Kimchi pancake". I intend to make kimchi dumplings in the next few days I think.

  5. This looks delicious and your photos of it are gorgeous. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Recently I came to know about Kimchi..though not tried yet and not confident about how it tastes...but the recipe sounds surely tasty and your snap made me slobbering....

  8. That is very make your own kimchi :)

  9. I love eating kimchi, but haven't tried to make at home. Your post really intrigues me to try some time later.

  10. how nice to be able to make kimchi at home! I must try making it at home too one day hehe - thanks for the recipe!

  11. This looks very good! I will have homemade kimchi supply from my sil occasionally too hee hee hee...

  12. Whoaaaaaa! Nice one there ;)

    I'm so into Korean food lately, in fact, i wanted to have it today for lunch after watching an episode of my Korean drama yesterday. LOL!

  13. thank you for stopping by my blog. hubby and i both love kimchi but usually buy it from a restaurant. now i have a great recipe to make my own. beautiful picture too. thank you for sharing.

  14. Your Kimchi recipe deviates a little from mine, i.e. the one I so far used, but every family's recipe was different, I heard. If you like to see mine, I posted it here. It's in German, sorry, but I guess you'll understand. You encouraged me to prepare another batch soon, probably a hybrid between yours and mine.

  15. Your kimchi looks sooo hot... It intrigues me to make another one. Btw, really love your bright and beautiful photos :D

  16. You're so clever making your own Kimchi! I've always bought it and never really thought about making it but home made would be so good! :D

  17. He escuchado hablar de este plato pero hasta ahora no lo había visto nunca. Se ve rico rico. Saludos

  18. Great click and looks so delicious but I never tasted kimchi though...

  19. @ Treat & Trick - You should, if you like something spicy (and rather stinky ;)), you really should give it a try!

  20. So very tempting..Something new for me..and loved the first pic

  21. Dear, this look absolutely tasty, I love korean food, yummy! gloria

  22. I love kimchi. And the local Korean store I buy from changed their brand and it pretty much sucks! My mom makes the best ones but I haven't been able to make it. Yet. Once you love a specific kimchi flavor others just don't taste the same. Your looks good!

  23. I love your artistic food presentation, so lovely!

  24. Wow, I didn't know that glutinous flour was added to the way you presented...SO pretty and SO tasty :-)

  25. Hello, you got nice blog with nice goodies.

  26. dulu tuh gua suka liat webnya dia, skrg2 ini jarang, suami suka kimchi juga??

  27. @ Kartika - Iya, suami juga suka kimchi, dia suka makan yg pedes2, malahan aku kalah sama dia ;)!

  28. I like this dish too but not a big fan! I wonder what's the best to go along with this dish huh! Thanks for the recipe. Have a great day.
    Cheers, kristy

  29. new to me..nice clicks..looks so delicious..

  30. looks delicious girl!!!

    Have a fabulous week!!
    jen @

  31. Lovely cabbage pickle it looks really tasty.


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