So what’s a girl to do when she loves spicy international foods but happens to live in an area where Taco Bell is one of the few ethnic offerings? This kimchee is not as flaming hot as you might used to if you are blessed with a diverse restaurant selection, but it is good. It is also surprisingly handy as ready-made seasoning for a quick stirfry. Since the farm market had lovely cabbage and carrots, I whipped up a batch over the weekend. In Korea they make it by the wagonload, but I have scaled it down to a more manageable size so you can give it a try without making a huge commitment.
Basic Kimchee Recipe
One napa cabbage
1/3 c. Kosher salt
One large carrot
1/2 of one large daikon radish
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 chopped red hot pepper
1/2 c. rice flour
1 c. water
Ginger, chili paste, sugar and minced garlic to taste
Wash the vegetables and slice the cabbage crosswise into long thin strips. Mix it with the salt and 1/2 c. water in a bowl and let it stand until wilted.
While the cabbage is wilting, grate and chop the rest of the vegetables.
The cabbage will shrink considerably in volume, down to about 1/3 of its original height.
Rinse the cabbage to get rid of the extra salt.
Mix all the vegetables together in the bowl and wash out a quart size canning jar. Add the 1 c. water to a saucepan and whisk in the rice flour. Cook over medium heat about 3-4 minutes until it is thickened and bubbling.
Add the chili paste, sugar, garlic and ginger.
Whisk to combine and pour it over the mixed vegetables. Stir things around to make sure all the vegetables get coated.
You can use it fresh at this point. If you are not using it right away pack it into a quart jar and store it at the back of the fridge. It will start to ferment and taste more like traditional kimchee the longer it sits.