Korean Kimchi… fermented napa cabbage.

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Korean Kimchi… fermented napa cabbage(America’s Test Kitchen adaptation). In previous posts I’ve mentioned the fact that I enjoy Korean food. I’ve posted a few recipes before,  but somehow felt the need to post a Kimchi recipe as well. It would only be fair, as kimchi is Korea’s national dish:). I have to admit that I wasn’t always a fan of kimchi. However, I’ve come to make kimchi once in a while and love using it in noodle dishes, pancakes, as well as stews. 
I’ve made kimchi before, but felt this particular recipe gave me more fermentation/sourness and a ton more flavor. The version I’m sharing is actually based off a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen’s feed… that I modified slightly. I chose to cut down the garlic amount and skip the sugar. And because I didn’t have any dried shrimp or shrimp paste I omitted that as well. While cutting up the vegetables, I realized I had some red radishes in the fridge, so I added those to the batch.  And even though ATK says you can eat the kimchi right away, I don’t. I suppose I find the freshly made kimchi very pungent, and actually prefer the fermented version that’s sour because the flavor mellows down quite a bit. This usually takes about 2 weeks of fermentation… or longer.   
I especially like using the well-fermented kimchi to make the popular kimchi jjigae stew. I love the stew because it’s adaptable to a wide variety of ingredients…. and it’s quick and simple to make. Soon, I’ll post a simple version of the jjigae. Until then, here is the version of kimchi I made this time around. Hope you enjoy…
ATK note: “An equal amount of dried shrimp or 2 teaspoons of shrimp paste may be substituted for the salted shrimp.”
You will need: Makes 6 to 8 cups

1 large head Napa cabbage, cut into 2-inch pieces

5 teaspoons kosher salt

½ cup Korean chile powder
⅓ cup sugar (I skipped)

¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
( I used regular)
20 medium garlic cloves, peeled
( I used 10 only)
1 ounce peeled fresh ginger (about 1½-inches long), sliced thin
(I grated mine)
1 tablespoon salted shrimp (I omitted)
2 bunches scallions, white and green parts cut into 2-inch lengths

1 large leek, white and light green parts only, cut into 2- by ¼-inch lengths

1 medium carrot, cut into thin strips
a handful of red radishes, cut in thin strips (my addition
1. In large bowl, toss cabbage and salt together until well combined. 
2. Allow cabbage to sit at room temperature for 1-3 hours… you can refrigerate for up to 24 hours. 
3. Transfer cabbage to colander to drain the strained water. 
4. Squeeze( I didn’t bother) cabbage, and transfer to large bowl; set aside.
5. Combine chile powder, sugar( if using), fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and shrimp( if using) in bowl of food processor, and puree until no large pieces of garlic or ginger remain, about 20 seconds. 
6. Add chile paste and remaining vegetables to cabbage and toss to combine. Transfer to jars, seal, and allow to ferment at room temperature for a couple of days.
My note: you will need to remove lid to allow gasses to escape… maybe twice a day or so for the first few days.
Additional note: ATK version places sealed jars directly in fridge without opening and no room temperature fermentation. 
~Refrigerate up to 2 weeks before eating… can last for a while in the fridge. 

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